While the new season of Black Mirror is a bit underwhelming, it does contain some bright spots. Most notably: Miley Cyrus performing a poppy, catchy Nine Inch Nails cover. Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker took the typically bleak NIN song “Head Like a Hole” and reworked it into the sunny, inspirational “On a Roll.” The cover is sung by (fictional) pop star Ashley O (Cyrus) in the episode “Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too”, and you can now listen to it in full.
Black Mirror Nine Inch Nails Cover Song
If you’ve ever wondered what a happier Nine Inch Nails might sound like, feast your ears on this cover of “Head Like a Hole.” The original song, written by Trent Reznor, is typically bleak and hopeless, with Reznor singing “Head like a hole/Black as your soul/I’d rather die than give you control.” For the Black Mirror version, the lyrics have been rewritten as the much more positive “I’m on a roll/Riding so high, achieving my goals!” It works surprisingly well.
And Reznor was a-okay with it. Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker reached out to Reznor about the idea when he was writing the episode, and the Nine Inch Nails frontman was happy with the results. “Trent got it straight away, it was via email and he was really happy pretty quickly,” Brooker said. Black Mirror executive producer Annabel Jones added: “He thought it was very funny, he found the dark comedy very entertaining.”
In fact, Nine Inch Nails got in on the action by releasing their own Black Mirror-themed shirt.
I dig this cover, and Cyrus’s performance of it, so much that I’d love to have an entire album of her performing Nine Inch Nails covers in this same style. I doubt that’ll happen anytime soon though, so I’ll just have to be content with this. Cyrus also performs a straight version of “Head Like a Hole” over the end credits. There’s also a reworking of the NIN song “Right Where It Belongs,” which you can hear below.
Right Where It Belongs
An alternate version of “Hurt”, titled “Flirt”, was also written – but never made it into the episode, because Brooker couldn’t find a place for it.
The “On a Roll” video comes accompanied with this “official press release” about the song:
Today, award-winning pop sensation Ashley O unveils a new music video for her single “On a Roll,” in which Ashley O empowers her fans to believe in themselves and to work hard to achieve their goals.
Reflecting on the new song, Ashley O says, “It’s really important for people to feel like they’re in control of their own destiny, and that means having the confidence to be who you want to be.” Ashley O’s manager Catherine Ortiz says the song is inspired by Ashley’s own experiences and her perseverance through her career. Ortiz states, “The lyrics to “On a Roll” are so true. Ashley has worked very hard, and now she’s going to get what she deserves.”
Ashley O’s writing process sets her apart from other artists and performers in the industry. Ashley O says a lot of her music comes to her in her dreams. She states, “They’re kind of there in my mind while I’m sleeping, so when I wake up I have to really quickly write it down because I don’t want it to just disappear.”
Ashley O began her career at a young age singing and performing. Upon the untimely death of her parents, her aunt, Catherine Ortiz, became her primary caretaker. As Ashley O continued her career, Ortiz would later become a source of confidence for her star niece, and eventually signed on as her manager. The video debut comes hot off the heels of another buzzworthy Ashley O project: Ashley Too, the all-new, intelligent companion doll based on Ashley O’s actual personality.
Here’s the original Nine Inch Nails version of “Head Like a Hole” for comparison.
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