4. Bell – “It’s Oh So Quiet”

By jim / March 28, 2008 - 2:30 pm

Bell On “It’s Oh So Quiet”
“Oddly enough, I can’t remember the first time I heard ‘It’s Oh So Quiet’ — the song has just always felt familiar. Like most of Björk’s music, it’s been going around and around in various formats, players and parts of my brain since, well, probably since fifth or sixth grade, when everything suddenly became very superlative, urgent and emotional. (With great difficulty I resist punning here about blowing fuses and pubescent devils cutting loose.)

Both Betty Hutton’s original ‘Blow a Fuse’ and Björk’s version of the song are held together (or not, or barely…) by these crazy pinball shifts, the screaming and the shhhhing, the twinkling and the slamming. I wanted to keep that same energy in my version, so a soft/intimate/acoustic take was out of the question. Luckily I don’t have a big band at my beckon call, so the arrangement was free to be completely and incongruously bonkers…

I told [my collaborator] Jason Nazary [drummer/beatmaker] that the choruses would be filled with alarms and crazy sawing synths, while I had this funny Steve Reich vs. Mozart piano idea for the verses. We
spent a few days tinkering around with our laptops, an evening assembling our respective beat/synth/birdie tinkerings, and about a day and a half in a proper studio with my engineer friend Albert, mixing and recording vocals and minimoogs. Happily, nobody blew a fuse.”
- Olga Bell

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