Franz Ferdinand frontman Alex Kapranos and acclaimed French singer Clara Luciani have teamed up for a lush cover of Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood’s classic song, “Summer Wine.” The duet, which sees Kapronos singing his verses in English and Luciani singing in her native French, comes with a stylish video from director Ryder the Eagle.
The 1960s ballad famously tells the story of a man who meets a woman that invites him for some wine after she takes a liking to his silver spurs. After a night together, the man awakes to find the mysterious woman has stolen his money and spurs.
Kapranos and Luciani certainly retain the original’s hypnotic, catchy pop-ballad rhythms with Luciani’s French verses adding an extra element to the romantic story that unfolds. The track was mixed and recorded between Kapranos’ studio in Scotland and Phillip Zdar’s Motorbass Studio in Paris.
Discussing the song and collaboration, Kapranos said the two performed the song together at the Olympia in Paris, and the idea for doing a studio take quickly surfaced. Fortunately, Kapranos explains, the pair wasn’t deterred by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“When the lockdown started, we decided to record it – more for ourselves than anything else,” he says. “We wanted to create the atmosphere of an imaginary world away from the confinement we were experiencing. Not that we were unhappy, but the imagination is the greatest medium for escape and adventure. It was recorded at my place in Scotland and mixed by our friends Antoine and Pierre at Motorbass studio in Paris. When we played it to our labels they suggested we release it, so here it is.”
Alex Kapranos is widely known for fronting the highly successful Scottish band, Franz Ferdinand, whose GRAMMY-nominated career spans almost 20 years and five studio albums.
Clara Luciani released the critically-acclaimed double-platinum debut album, Sainte-Victoire in 2018 and won Female Artist of the year at the 2020 Victoires De La Musique (a French equivalent to the GRAMMYs).
The song was originally performed by Hazelwood and Suzi Jane Hokom in 1966 but became a hit the following year after the singer’s duet with Sinatra was released on her album, Nancy in London. The track ultimately reached number 49 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in April of 1967.
Photo credit: Boston Lynn Schulz