Portishead emerged in the early 1990s, and was “frequently lumped in with the trip-hop genre,” according to Loudwire.
The group received critical acclaim for Dummy, their 1994 debut album. While, “It’s a Fire” was not one of the singles from the album, it has become something of a fan favorite “due the emotionally rich and powerful vocal from Beth Gibbons which was laid out over a steady beat that kept the song moving along,” according to Loudwire.
It turned out to be one of Lee’s favorites, too.
“This song (and all of Dummy, actually) was a huge inspiration to me in my formative years,” Lee wrote in a Facebook post. “I listened to the song recently for the first time in a long time, and fell in love with it all over again. The lyrics are so powerful, they helped me through so much. It is my honor to do this little homemade homage to a group I have loved so much for so long.”
In Lee’s interpretation, the focus falls on those powerful lyrics, because she’s structured the song as a largely piano and strings-driven ballad that showcases her voice.
Check it out:
As a follow up to “It’s a Fire,” Lee has covered U2’s arena-rock ballad “With or Without You.” But, unlike the version that the Irish rock band made famous, her interpretation has taken a dark, industrial rock turn. In a similar arrangement to “It’s a Fire,” Lee places emphasis on the lyrics, but she’s swapped the piano and strings for a heavy synth sound that brings a haunting quality to the song.
The inspiration for this arrangement came in the form of a dream.
“Sometimes I dream in music,” Lee wrote in a Facebook post. “The dark version of U2’s immortal song was playing in my head as I woke up one morning. I was lingering in that half-awake, half-asleep place, with no images — just darkness, this song and huge emotions. As I was becoming conscious I kept thinking ‘don’t let it go, don’t forget!’ And I went straight upstairs and laid down the synth and basic vocal.”
Check it out:
In related news, Lee joined her Evanescence band mates for three dates in the United States, and the band will be one of the headliners for Ozzfest Japan, according to Rolling Stone. But, Evanescence is not planning to release new music.