wears the trousers magazine

free music friday: frida hyvönen
August 28, 2009, 9:52 pm
Filed under: free music friday, mp3, review | Tags: , , , , ,

031008_fridahyvonenFrida Hyvönen
‘Jesus Was A Crossmaker’ [Judee Sill cover]

One of Judee Sill’s most frequently covered songs (‘Mama’ Cass Elliott, Rachael Yamagata, Warren Zevon, The Hollies etc.), ‘Jesus Was A Crossmaker’ is among the most intriguing in the tragic Californian‘s small but perfectly formed back catalogue. Lyrically oblique and no doubt controversial to many, it’s an almost hymnal concoction that, like many of Sill’s songs, holds a great deal of its power in her unconventional use of self-harmonies and nimble piano playing/guitar picking (depending on what version you hear). It makes perfect sense that Frida Hyvönen should choose to cover the song for upcoming tribute album, Crayon Angel: A Tribute To The Music Of Judee Sill. The Swedish chanteuse is known for her disarmingly frank piano-based songs and gutsy, rangy vocals, tinged with a very particular Scandinavian melancholy, and her take is fairly faithful to the 1971 original from Sill’s self-titled debut album. Focusing purely on the piano and multi-layered, churchy vocals, she does away with the drums and violin to create a slower, more contemplative version of the song that resonates with personal meaning. 

Speaking to Stereogum recently, Frida described the song as “so internal, not like a story you want to declare loudly to someone, but a story you tell yourself into.” With its references to angels and bandits, Frida’s interpretation of the song is of “looking for something beyond a good/evil duality, looking for a…third thing.” You could say that simply being human is to be a little bit evil, a little bit pure, and the rest conflicted, and Frida captures that philosophy well. Crayon Angel is out in the US on September 22nd through the American Dust label. MP3 after the jump.


FREE MP3: Frida Hyvönen, ‘Jesus Was A Crossmaker’

BONUS MP3: Rachael Yamagata, ‘Jesus Was A Crossmaker’
BONUS MP3: Judee Sill, ‘Jesus Was A Crossmaker’ [live]

visit Frida on Myspace


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