Walkmen’s Peter Matthew Bauer covered the song “Prince Johnny,” which was written and originally performed by St. Vincent. The cover has been featured on Amazon Acoustics, available via Amazon Prime which is a collection of 30 all-new recordings exclusively made by other musicians. Eight of the songs on the Amazon Acoustics are original compositions and includes numbers written by Deer Tick, Ron Sexsmith and Jill Andrews. Bauer released his debut solo LP, Liberation! last year. Liberation! was recorded in Philadelphia and contains songs about personal subjects to Bauer containing his belief, his childhood, as well as Scientology, the city of Philadelphia, the God Shiva, the city of Varanasi, Richard Dawkins and Jorge Luis Borges.
I chose her song ‘Prince Johnny’ because it was one of my favorite songs in the last few years. Because it’s so not acoustic, I thought it’d be fun to arrange it in a completely different way. I heard the song on the radio when it first came out; it was a single off her record. It was the first St Vincent song that I really got attached to. It’s a big hit around the house. I got a little five-year-old girl who’s very heavily into St. Vincent.
Annie Clarke was the original composer for the song “Prince Johnny.” St. Vincent is the stage name for the musician and she was once a member of The Polyphonic Spree music group and toured alongside Sufjan Stevens as part of the touring band before forming her own band in 2006. The single “Prince Johnny” is from her forthcoming record, St. Vincent, which won Clarke her first Grammy Award for Best Alternative Album last year. Annie Clarke has opened shows for such acts as The Black Keys, Arcade Fire, Andrew Bird, Jolie Holland, John Vanderslice, Xiu Xiu, Death Cab for Cutie, Cristina Donà, and Grizzly Bear. Two soundtracks for The Twilight Saga have featured songs from this musician. The first, “Roslyn,” was in collaboration with Bon Iver and appeared on the 2009 soundtrack for New Moon; her second, “The Antidote,” was written for and appeared on 2012’s Breaking Dawn – Part 2.
The original song was written to include themes of identity crises and self-validation. When Walkmen’s Bauer covered the single, it was almost as if it was an entertaining project for the musician to undergo. The cover from Bauer starts out with soft like undertones before turning into a harsh chorus of questions and answers. Keeping with the theme of identity crisis and self-validating, he recreates the cover to make the song a more enticing music piece for someone to take to heart. It was an attachment that the musician made to the song himself that he wants other people to obtain as they listen to his cover. The songs from Amazon Prime’s Amazon Acoustic, can be bought on their website. Bauer’s cover of St. Vincent’s “Prince Johnny” can be heard on the YouTube clip provided in the article.