[One Little Indian; November 7]
Icelandic wonder Ólöf Arnalds releases a new five-track covers EP in November by way of a stopgap release while she works on a follow-up to last year’s Innundir Skinni, due in Spring 2012. Arthur Russell, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan and Caetano Veloso all the Arnalds treatment which has previously brought so much light and loveliness to the likes of Kyu Sakamoto’s ‘Sukiyaki‘ and the Johnny Cash-popularised ‘That Lucky Old Sun‘, among others. Scroll down for a song-by-song preview, in her own words.
Ólöf Sings will be available digitally and on CD. A bundle of four further songs, including ‘Sukiyaki’ and ‘That Lucky Old Sun’ plus ‘Surrender’ B-side ‘Instants’ and a compilation track by the name of ‘Ég Umvef Hjarta Mitt’, will be available to download on the same day, either via iTunes or using a download code that will come with the CD. The video for the Björk-featuring ‘Surrender’ is also included in the bundle.
01 Close My Eyes [Arthur Russell cover]
02 With Tomorrow / I’m On Fire [Bruce Springsteen cover]
03 Solitary Man [Neil Diamond cover]
04 She Belongs To Me [Bob Dylan cover]
05 Maria Bethânia [Caetano Veloso cover]
‘Close My Eyes’ – “My friend and manager Stuart Rogers sent this song to me once when I was lovesick and lonely. That was my first introduction to this beautiful artist, Arthur Russell, who I now absolutely adore. Very shortly after I’d taken ‘Close My Eyes’ into my repertoire it was my birthday and Kristín Anna Valtýsdóttir, my friend who I used to play with in múm, gave me Arthur Russell’s Love Is Overtaking Me album on vinyl. It’s an absolute favorite.”
‘With Tomorrow / I’m On Fire’ – “’I’m On Fire’ was a request from the artist, Roni Horn. We became friends when I played at her opening of the Water Museum in Stykkilshólmur, Iceland. She played me ‘I’m On Fire’ later when I visited her in New York. I had never heard the song before but I was very drawn to the conviction in Bruce Springsteen’s voice. I worked out a guitar part in the same tuning as my song, ‘Englar og dárar’, and started playing them back-to-back in concerts. Later I treated the Gene Clark song in the same way and it fell into the medley, between the two other songs.”
‘Solitary Man’ – “I learned ‘Solitary Man’ from Johnny Cash’s America III record, which I got absolutely obsessed with when it came out. I’ve played this song in parties and for friends for many years, and I’ve also played it occasionally onstage. I know very little about Neil Diamond or his music. I guess he’s one of the good discoveries yet to come.”
‘She Belongs To Me’ – “I originally rehearsed and sang Dylan’s ‘She Belongs To Me’ for my dear friend, singer Adda Ingólfsdóttir, on her birthday many years ago. We were young, in high school still, but she became one of my favorite artists on the spot, the first time I met her. Now when I sing the song, I am partly singing it to her, and partly to myself as a reminder to have courage and keep on truckin’ with my music.”
‘Maria Bethânia’ – “Maria Bethânia revolves a lot around my favorite chord relationship, which I only recently discovered and find to be typical of the dorian scale. I also like that Caetano Veloso sings to his sister, which is something that I’ve also done in my own songs. I first heard Caetano when my collaborator, Skúli Sverrisson played him to me. I’m a great admirer of Caetano’s music, which I find beautifully precise and wild at the same time. And the voice! It’s really something else.”