Song of the Day

photo by Gretchen Robinette

Lost Cause

DOWNLOAD: Lost Cause

Late last year, Nadia Ackerman kept telling me about a singer/songwriter friend of hers with the most amazing and soulful voice that would immediately have me thinking of a female Tom Waits, and that I simply must meet her. Well, since then I’ve gotten to be very good friends with Chiara Angelicola…..Bird Call as she’s known on stage…..and while her vocals can go to the dark, bluesy place that Tom calls home, on her latest EP, Other Creatures, she’s recorded covers of songs from Fleetwood Mac, Nick Cave, Man Man, Kate Bush and Beck that don’t simply parrot the originals, but instead her unique voice gives a heartfelt interpretation to each one in her own style. I remember when Beck released Sea Change…his melancholy country-blues masterpiece…and how ‘Lost Cause’ quickly became my favorite song on the album, so hearing Chiara throw a sitar in the mix really caught me off guard. This from Chiara…..

“Lost Cause is one of my favorite Beck tunes. I think the Sea Change record influenced a lot of people my age at the time it came out. It signaled a major shift in the music world. I knew that it would be a challenge to recreate, but I was working with some really talented people and we found a way to diverge from it in a spiritual and organic way and stay true to it at the same time. I think the sitar really expresses the spiritual and emotional aspects of the song alone. I’m really glad we went that route.”

Joining Chiara on the record are Indra Roy-Chowdhury on the aforementioned sitar, Dave Smallen on guitar & vocals, the amazing Harvey Jones on electric pianos, harmonium & synthesizers, Aaron Nevezie on bass and the whole thing was mixed & produced by Joel Hamilton at Studio G in Brooklyn.

Chiara and another good friend of the Song of the Day List, Johanna & the Dusty Floor, just wrapped up an uber-successful Kickstarter campaign and will be heading out on a cross-country tour starting August 2nd at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, so if they happen by your town, trust me…it’s well worth your time to check ’em out!

You can follow Bird Call on her website, then go pick up a copy of the Other Creatures EP on iTunes for only 7 bucks!

Finally…I was gonna drop the video for ‘Lost Cause’, but Chiara tells me that apparently Deli Magazine is getting a temporary exclusive on that one, so you’re all gonna hafta do with Beck’s original version and I’ll drop Chiara’s version when it clears Customs…..

Song of the Day

Heaven Can Wait

DOWNLOAD: Heaven Can Wait

If you didn’t know Charlotte Gainsbourg has a new album due out tomorrow, then you really haven’t been paying attention! Besides the usual leaks on all of the music blogs, Ms. Gainsbourg has been tearing up the promo circuit as well, capping it all off with a front page story in the Sunday Times yesterday. But I guess when you’re trying to get outta the shadow of your incredibly famous father, the renaissance man Serge Gainsbourg, you’ll take all the press you can get, however, the story behind “IRM” is quite fascinating….after a minor water skiing fall, she suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and if not for emergency surgery would have probably died. But even after recovering, she remained convinced she was not quite right, so she insisted on repeated MRI scans (‘IRM’ in French). The experience focussed her songwriting on her medical crisis and the result is a haunting work, filled with eerie lyrics (“…Drill my brain full of holes and patch it before it leaks…”) and musical samples of the MRI machines whose grinding sounds somehow soothed her while they probed her head. And Beck…they had become friends a few years earlier and she got him to handle the production, as well as contribute on a few songs, including ‘Heaven Can Wait’. You can check out Charlotte Gainsbourg on her website or over on MySpace.