Alternative rock musician Amanda Palmer releases a string quartet cover of Encanto’s “Surface Pressure,” which discusses the process of expectations becoming overwhelming and overbearing. In the movie, Luisa is the middle sister and rock of the Madrigal family. Aside from the protagonist Mirabel, each member of the Madrigal family has a magical gift; Luisa’s is super strength.
As such, she is treated as a workhorse for any and all of the family and towns’ problems. While she puts on a capable, confident and composed front, Luisa is crushed under the weight of her expectations. Palmer was already familiar with the song as her song Ash “LOVES Encanto,” and when a patron of Palmer’s suggested that she cover the song, the pieces fell into place.
Palmer took the lead on vocals; Jherek Bischoff arranged strings and Auckland’s The Black Quartet played the music.
Listen to Palmer’s cover here:
Discussing the song’s relevance, Palmer says “it is in the midst of all this overwhelmed-ness that ‘Surface Pressure’ comes out. And it all makes sense to me, this song….in this moment. Making art saves me. I need it. Maybe you need it.”
Palmer has taken actions in the past to act as a soothing force in a chaotic world; for one, she livestreamed a two-hour-long “emergency soothing piano music session” for fans. Palmer is also an activist and took part in a project with DoReMeToo.
The song was released at a particularly eventful and chaotic time. In the press release, Palmer lists all-too-familiar, worldwide issues that have flooded headlines lately: “Russia. Ukraine. Trans rights getting trampled. Books getting actually banned, [and] abortion becoming slowly but surely criminalized in the states.”
The song has no hyper-specific audience. It was born in a Disney movie, and yet everyone can relate to the sense of growing weight on their shoulders.
Photo Credit: Raymond Flotat