Justify My Love: “Emily” cover (Exclusive mp3!)

Indie-rock savant/recluse Chris Perdue emerges from his lair after a four-year silence to drop on us, not a new album or EP, but a single song, and a cover at that. You probably haven’t heard of Perdue but that’s no surprise as this guy likes to keep a low profile. A San Francisco dweller, he plays drums for the Golden Birds from time to time and blows the sax for the Blacks on occasion but other than that this dude apparently lounges around his apartment dreaming about how to write the perfect song. Perdue’s last offering, 2004’s Beggars and Charity, was an awesome home-recorded EP, showing off his James Mercer and Thom Yorke leanings. On this new and brilliant song, a cover of Joanna Newsom’s “Emily”, Perdue twists a Pinback meets Shins arrangement around the milk-eyed mender’s harp-fest. The ever self-sufficient Perdue played all of the instruments himself and sang this epic lyrical masterpiece. Hopefully this song is the sign of a new album in the works but if not, we’re happy to wait another four years for the best cover ever.

Download: Christopher Perdue - Emily (Joanna Newsom cover)

10 Responses to “Justify My Love: “Emily” cover (Exclusive mp3!)”

  1. 1 Daniel Talsky

    Oh how funny… I just did a blog post about how I was dreaming someone would do a decent Ys cover and no one had yet:

    Well, this is a lovely job, and I would love to have an actual non-flash copy of this so I can listen to it on my iPhone…

    So is there some way I can get notification about when I can get it in my hot little hands? A great job. He should just cover the whole album. I would love it. Or… at least just “Only Skin”.

  2. 2 kat

    i wanted more from this! for one thing, especially after the recent entrancing close to her tour in brooklyn, i’m in love with the harmonies on this album over and over. for example, the “frowning at the angle where they were lost and slipped under forever” line is so much less intense without the harmony. on guitar, stripped down the way he does it, the song just sounds repetitive to me. the little nuance there is seems extremely cliche. somehow most of this song sounds like an amalgam of all my favorite bands from the late 90s formed a band with that one really smart rocker dude from college and then, i dunno, smoked weed or something and created this really uninspired cover. i really don’t think he does anything to reinterpret the intensities in a novel way or even a way that exploits the best modes of expression of what i can only characterize (again) as the “emo” genre. though i consider myself a real lover of a good cover, i’m sorry to say i’m bored and thus not very impressed with this. nothing added - i’ll just take the original. ALL THIS BEING SAID, i liked guitar in the “come on home the poppies…” verse. it sounded like sleater-kinney playing joanna newsom — something i could get into.

  3. 3 kat

    i should have listened longer. he does that great harmony on everything but the “frowning at the angle” verse.

  4. 4 Daniel Talsky

    Ahh thanks for the download link. You’re subscribed.

  5. 5 Mark Dowdy

    My response is the opposite of Kat’s. At first, it sounded swell, but boy did it drag on after the first three minutes. The conventional rock instrumentation lacks dynamics, and Perdue’s equally conventional voice doesn’t help matters.

    I think he should have cut out most of the verses and stripped it down into a shorter track. Newsom creates a strange, ethereal space that invites the listener to wander around for seven minutes. Her voice and harp ebb and flow along with her stream-of-consciousness lyrics. Perdue’s version just sorta plods.

    In my opinion, it would have been more effective if he had done something similar to what the Byrds did with “Mr. Tambourine Man.”

  6. 6 J. McLaren

    I don’t know. I think parts of it are nice, or could be nice if it wasn’t a cover. But maybe I just love Joanna’s original too much to appreciate any cover of her music… it feels like something sancrosanct being violated. Occasionally the timing makes me cringe a little, perhaps just because it’s not expected. I think I could like this if it was an original, but because it’s a cover I just can’t.
    There’s also the problem of how personal the lyrics are - sang by another person, they sound so strange. When Joanna sings them, you can hear the experience behind her voice. The memory of the events she’s singing about comes through, the emotion and the meaning. For someone else to attempt them seems - I don’t know, like reading a biography by someone who never knew the person it’s about.
    Don’t get me wrong, as I said (I think) above, I think it’s nice - I just can’t love it.

  7. 7 Stephanie

    oh wow…I didn’t think I’d like a cover-seeing as Joanna’s song is so wonderful…but he added a nice spin to it, made it his own. I really like that version a lot. It’s very refreshing and upbeat.

  8. 8 Aquiles La Grave

    Thanks for the song, but wow I have to disagree with half the posts and agree with the remainder. Nothing new here.

  9. 9 Charlei Miller

    Could not agee with you more..

  10. 10 Mark F

    It sort of works! Needs more varied instruments, but I can imagine a band rocking this out on a festival stage.

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