Lampshades, Harmonicas and Penguins: Four Covers of Feist’s “1, 2, 3, 4”

Before Feist’s song“1, 2, 3, 4” became the anthem to a multicolored iPod commercial in 2007, it was a bouncy, mid-album track in The Reminder, an album I liked to pretend was my own private therapist when I was in college. And, in the way of all music-related things, I was introduced to Feist by a girl-crush in high school — the ordeal was intense, overwhelming and it never really materialized into anything, but since then I’ve associated Feist’s throaty warbles and croons with a firm sense of adolescent longing. The association is so strong that even if Feist sang a song about trash compactors I’d probably figure out how to imbue it with the “teenage hopes” Feist sings about in “1, 2, 3, 4.”


On top of that, Feist is altogether crush-worthy herself — she even once fronted a ‘90s punk band named Placebo — not to be confused with Brian Molko’s band Placebo, which is infinitely better. You should, however, watch this video of a 1994 Placebo performance and witness an adorably young Feist crooning to a thin moshpit of swaying goths.

And she’s a crossover performance artist — Feist and the musician Peaches (performer of notable songs like “Fuck the Pain Away” and, my favorite, “Tent in Your Pants”) were college roommates, and Feist has performed with Peaches under the stage name Bitch Lap Lap, a character who brandishes sock puppets and appears on dance tracks by French band Hypnolove.


So in summation, I love you Feist, and I have had a crush on you since I was 16 and your voice reminds me of being sad most of the time (over girls). And in salute to the Placebo-fronting, Bitch Lap Lap-being Feist and her bouncy song “1, 2, 3, 4″ here are four covers of “1, 2, 3, 4″ with which you can get your groove on — featuring (among other things) lampshades, harmonicas, xylophones, hot ladies, and copious amounts of jangly guitars.

The first cover is by Gloria Lee, who has put a great twist on the song by including the rhythm of jingling bells and chiming water glasses. The video also features various scarved ladies wearing horn-rimmed glasses, and cute hand-drawn illustrations.

The second is by Emily Asen, an adorable vest-and-t-shirt-wearing, sweet-voiced, pixie-haired dreamboat who happens to be selling purple Pride t-shirts on her website — you should probably visit and order some music and a t-shirt while you’re at it.

The third is by a band called The Bergamot. The video features Jillian Speece and Nathan Hoff standing on the back porch of a pumpkin-laden house, and the cover features great vocals and (what looks like difficult) simultaneous harmonica-and-guitar playing.

The last cover is by a band called Pearl and the Puppets — this cover is the oddest, but that’s mainly because all of the musicians have lampshades on their heads. And because Pearl is playing a xylophone that’s hidden behind a sheet of paper that reads “online content.” And also possibly because everyone is keeping a straight, deadpan face while singing such a bouncy tune. But I think that’s what makes this cover perfect.

And, for good measure, I’m including Feist’s Sesame Street version of “1, 2, 3, 4,” which features monsters (“walking ‘cross the floor”) chickens (“just back from the shore”), penguins (“that went by the door”) and Feist proclaiming that she loves counting to the number four. Possibly the cutest Sesame Street cover that I’ve ever seen.

Do you have a favorite cover version of “1, 2, 3, 4”? How long do you think it will take to get this song out of your head now? At least two days, right?

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Whitney Pow

Whitney is a lover of food, books, comic books and journals made for left-handed people. They are a Ph.D. candidate at Northwestern University, where their research focuses on queer video games and new media. They are also a graphic designer, writer and editor who has worked for places like Opium Magazine, Literary Death Match, Publishers Weekly and The Feminist Press. Check out their website at and follow them on Twitter @whitneypow.

Whitney has written 53 articles for us.


  1. I was going to be sad because you didn’t have the Sesame Street cover, which may be my favorite ever, but you did! Now, my very crappy day has gotten much better!

    • How could I ever forget the Sesame Street cover? Anything with chickens, monsters, and penguins doing various things = the best thing. :D

  2. THANK YOU for this post. i love feist and have since way before the reminder even came out.
    also shes from my hometown! (along with tegan and sara….. i like calgary when i remember this)

  3. it might be the new gallery but jillian from the bergamot is reminding me of rachel maddow times ten amirite

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