David Byrne is a Scottish-American singer-songwriter from Dumbarton, U.K.. He started making music back in 1971. Musical groups he’s been apart of include the Talking Heads and The Atomic Bomb Band. Popular albums of his include American Utopia (2018), Rei Momo (1989) and My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (1981).
Yo La Tengo is an American indie rock band from Hoboken, New Jersey. They started making music back in 1984. They’re known for having a wide repertoire when it comes to covers, both during live performances and on records. The band consists of vocalist and singer Ira Kaplan, vocalist and percussionist Georgia Hubley, lead guitarist Dave Schramm and bassist Stephan Wichnewski. Some notable songs of theirs are “Autumn Sweater,” “From a Motel 6” and “You Can Have It All.”
Byrne and Yo La Tengo have released a cover of “Who Has Seen The Wind?” The track is off of the new tribute album, Ocean Child: Songs of Yoko Ono. The album features covers by other artists as well. Sharon Van Etten covers “Toyboat,” The Flaming Lips cover “Mrs. Lennon” and Japanese Breakfast cover “No One Sees Me Like You Do.” There’s other artists as well, a total of 14 musicians to be exact. The album was curated by Death Cab for Cutie‘s Ben Gibbard.
On the album Gibbard says,
“Some of her best songs have been covered and compiled here by a generation-spanning group of musicians for whom her work has meant so much. It is my sincere hope that a new crop of Yoko Ono fans fall in love with her songwriting due in some small part to this album we have put together.”
The cover of “Who Has Seen The Wind?” is pretty different, but in a good way that transforms the song into something new. On the original, Ono‘s voice is very cutesy and the instrumental folk, almost medieval sounding at times. The cover takes the song and gives it a ’50s/60s spin in terms of vocals, sounding reminiscent of The Everly Brothers. The added backing vocals also adds to the piece. Musically, it’s changed as well. On this version, there’s emphasis on synths and drums rather than the original folk instrumentation. Overall, a solid cover.
The album comes out February 18.
Photo Credit: Kalyn Oyer