Owl City’s Dear Evan Hansen Cover Isn’t “Just Another Cover”

Aly Markov

Today, Owl City had publically released a cover, something I've only ever seen him do a few times before. This time, he released a cover of Dear Evan Hansen's "Waving Though a Window". Now, having a celebrity do a cover of a musical song isn't unheard of, but this one is different and I've seen it getting a lot of negative feedback from the DEH fan base which I don’t think it deserves.

Although the style may not be my taste, I still am in love with it because it's Adam Young's version and everyone needs to embrace the fact that the musical isn't going unnoticed as well as the themes behind it.

What I love about this cover is that there is a lot of heart in it, something that I thought was completely missing from the songs in the Hamilton Mix Tape as the artists had their own agenda of spreading their names (or goofing off in Jimmy Fallon’s case).

On Facebook, he announced the release with his own story, which I’m sure many people who don’t like the cover haven’t read. I highly recommend you give it a read but one part that shows how well he relates not only to the song but to Evan he states:

“When I was first introduced to the character of Evan Hansen, I felt like I was watching myself in high school. I knew how it felt being on the outside looking in. I knew how it felt waving through the window, wondering if anyone was waving back at me. I had terrible social anxiety, I was painfully shy, I didn’t have many friends and I rarely spoke to my classmates. I viewed social interaction as a threat, not as an opportunity to share. So I withdrew from the world around me and poured myself into my music because it was the one thing that made me feel adequate. In the same way Evan took to writing letters, I took to writing music in order to deal with the troubles of life.”

Young had his own demons that he sings about in the cover, not Evan’s. He even states that he didn't want to be a celebrity, he's happy making music where he is in the small town he lives in. Dear Evan Hansen may go over some people’s heads that aren’t into theatre, but this song alone and his story spreads awareness about anxiety. Though you may need to look past his signature techno, his heart and love for this song is there. If it weren’t, why would he cover it?

I understand that the base thinks the cast and Ben Platt himself are sacred but you need to make room for others taking the role of Evan, and those who share his feelings. I fear for what's going to happen when Platt's contract ends in November, as if the show will lose it’s meaning because he isn’t there.

This is a man who took a song he related to, just like Ben Platt does every night, and sang it. This isn't another singer who took something everyone likes and just covered it, and it shouldn't be treated as such.

The point I'm making here is you don't need to hate on something that isn't the original, and this goes for every cover. “Waving Through a Window”, though a gorgeous song, can only be heard so many times the same way before you get sick of it (*cough* the Tonys *cough*). This cover was handled with care by someone who also shares Evan's struggles, just like Platt, and that doesn't make his cover any less good. You don't have to love the cover, but I would love for it to be respected within the base and the world, in the same way the show is. If anything, this cover being spread shows the main theme of the show itself:

You are not alone.


Aly is a University student in Canada majoring in Dramatic Arts. She doesn’t know what she’s going to do with her degree, but she doesn’t care as long as she stays involved with the love of her life: theatre.