Aside from discussing how Norah wanted The Fall to tickle corners further from the country-jazz she’d been pedal-steeling of late, there’s a lot in Norah’s recording history that makes Santi White a perfect fit for the Chasing Pirates Remix EP. Pulling off collabs with Andre 3000, Talib Kweli, Q-Tip, Willie Nelson, Jude Law and Andy Samberg while covering Arcade Fire and oh yeah releasing gajillion-selling albums your own without splitting seams takes some high-grade shape-shifting — or at least, a respect for those with similarly chameleonic approaches to their output. Before Santi got on Norah’s record, Norah went on the record with her love for Santogold:
I love Santigold. There are elements in her record that inspired me to try little things here and there. Some of her songs are great pop songs, but they have all these cool instruments on them and they sound kind of organic even though they’re electronic. Those were the kind of sounds I was going for on my album.
“Chasing Pirates” is a song about a mind wandering and a heart yearning. For Norah that meant the warm, stately lock of a quietly killer keyboard-and-drum groove, giving the angst a playful quality. But for Santi — joined on remix duties by Snotty — it’s all about the desperation, rendered in darkened electro via sinister synths and killer drum tones its own. But the twist is the twisted take on Norah’s vocal, masked and pitch-shifted, as if Jones never found those pirates and re-visited the song with her newfound L.E.S.-artiste friends after 20 years of smoking cigarettes and staying up too late at downtown clubs.
“Chasing Pirates (Santigold & Snotty Remix)”
The Fall is out via Blue Note. Hear “That’s What I Said (The NYC Remix By Adrock & Mike D)” at RCRD LBL, and stay tuned for Beck’s take on “Chasing Pirates.”