I thought I’d dig through the internet to come up with some of the best covers of the week on the internet. And here are my picks: Ólöf Arnalds and Marissa Nadler. They’ve both re-interpreted Springsteen; one with an intimate Icelandic croon, the other, with a mild twang; giving The Boss some needed feminine warmth. I love the juxtaposition between the great American hero of rock, country and blues: Springsteen translated through a feminine lens. Its got that empathetic quality reminding us all that ladies get the blues, too.
Ólöf Arnalds might lazily be compared with Bjork, (although they have collaborated together on a number of projects) but there’s something far more ancient about her; her voice is bewitching, it’s got this hummingbird-like texture to it. It makes it all the more endearing when she sings, “I’ve got a bad desire”. That just really seems unlikely.
Marissa Nadler takes on Springsteen with more sweeping melodies, like the weight of the words are wearing on her. She’s embodied the heart of a man who never knew love. When she sings, “Is a dream a lie if it don’t come true?” you get the feeling she wants to know. Nadler’s got a knack for channeling these spirits, she closes her eyes and exhales with relief to let each breath go, like the perfect mix between Patsy Cline and Gillian Welch.
She’s backed by Faces on Film and Red Heroine. Ironically, my blog Friends With Both Arms is named after a Faces on Film song, if you haven’t heard of this Boston band, I recommend you check them out here. This is from her forthcoming Covers Album II that will be released on Etsy Nov. 8th. For those who don’t know Etsy has recently been really active in the music community, there’s a great article about it here. And while you’re at it- check out Nadler’s cover of Distortions by Clinic. One of my favorite songs of all time.