After At The Drive-In broke up at the pinnacle of their success and lead guitarist Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and singer Cedric Bixler-Zavala formed The Mars Volta, not a lot of music fans expected the new band to make waves commercially. Then, “The Widow” came out of nowhere and landed in the Billboard Hot 100, a pretty remarkable feat for what was a fairly dyed-in-the-wool prog rock band. Today, we have the premiere of the immensely talented Ché Aimee Dorval’s powerful cover of that out-of-nowhere modern rock hit.
One of the most noticeable elements that has changed from the original is Bixler-Zavala’s falsetto-style tenor that dominated much of The Mars Volta’s discography. In its place is Dorval’s smoky, equally-affecting vocals, which lovingly recreate the nuances that make Bixler-Zavala such a generational talent as a lead singer.
As Dorval herself puts it, “‘The Widow’ is an incredible song from a genius band. The Mars Volta has a way of producing these incredibly intricate multi-layered guitar-centric songs that can be completely overwhelming in the best possible way, and this is one of my favorite songs of theirs. The lyrics, the way the song builds up to this calculated frenzy and then suddenly drops back into focus, is so affecting and impassioned. It takes me right back to a time when I was just figuring out love and life.”
Dorval released her latest LP Between the Walls and the Window back in December of 2017, an album which showcased her ace songwriting skills and soulful vocal abilities. Before that, in 2016, she formally released a collaborative album with the guitar legend Devin Townsend under the moniker Casualties of Cool. That record topped our Best Albums list, what with its brilliant technicality, intriguing storytelling and gorgeous arranging among other assets.