Singer-songwriter Amanda Palmer has teamed up with Rhiannon Giddens to cover the Portishead classic “It’s A Fire,” originally from their 1994 breakthrough debut Dummy. This track is now available on Bandcamp, with all proceeds going in support of the Free Black University Fund.
This take on “It’s A Fire” is completely reimagined to fit Palmer and Gidden’s folk style, with the assistance of a lush spring orchestra and a sneaky guitar line that channels in the Portishead influence. This track manages to capture the cinematic quality Portishead is known for, with the powerful vocal performances from Giddens and Palmer.
This track features further collaborations from Marta Sofia Honer who plays violins and violas, Caleigh Drane who plays cellos and Jherek Bischoff who handles the double bass, electric bass, percussion and Sequencing. Palmer was inspired to record this performance after the conclusion of her New Zealand tour, which inspired her to contact Bischoff to begin this collaboration.
“There is something about this song that speaks to a deeper connection between things happening right now,” Palmer continues. “Black Lives Mattering, COVID, fear and trust are all colliding with one another…I wanted this cover version to sound more like a dark closet talk between two friends…hanging onto each other for dear life whispering, ‘we’re gonna make it out of here.'”
Palmer had to scrap plans for a Dresden Dolls reunion album, but the duo reunited to cover the Muppets’ “I’m Going to Go Back There Someday.” last month. She performed a show in New Zealand back in July and is currently touring the county. She also covered “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square” this year, which was made famous by Frank Sinatra. Giddens teamed up with Ben Harper earlier this year.
Photo Credit: Raymond Flotat