Susanna has announced a covers album, just a day after Bonnie “Prince” Billy announced an album of Susanna covers. Wait, what?
Let’s back up. Susanna Wallumrød is Norwegian singer who draws from folk and classical traditions. When we posted her version of Leonard Cohen’s “Who By Fire,” we wrote that when she covers a song, “she melts it down to almost nothing, then casts her haunting voice like a fishing line, hooking onto emotions that are often deeper and darker than in the original.” That seems to be the case with Go Dig My Grave, the album Susanna just announced. With a band including baroque harp player Giovanna Pessi, accordion player Ida Hidle, and fiddle player/folk singer Tuva Syvertsen, she reimagined tunes by Joy Division and Lou Reed plus a number of traditionals. There’s also an original Susanna composition built from a Charles Baudelaire poem. Today she’s sharing the album’s title track, which you can hear below.
Just yesterday, Bonnie “Prince” Billy announced his own new album, Wolf Of The Cosmos, and get this: It entirely comprises Susanna covers! Specifically it’s an album-length cover of Susanna’s 2007 release Sonata Mix Dwarf Cosmos. Here’s Will Oldham’s explanation:
As other practitioners are leaving the room in favor of novel forms of recording and distro and consumption, we are left with a virtual PALACE, fantastical and real structures and practices. Like we are allowed into the museum at night. We can make a great essentially live record with great songs and great players because nobody else is? Wolf of the Cosmos…is about, as much as anything, direct engagement with recorded music. So step right up to the replicant.
The announcement was paired with a video for “People Living,” which you can watch below. It’s constructed entirely from footage of the white nationalist march in Charlottesville that resulted in the death of counter-protester Heather Heyer.
So there you have it! Two days, two Susanna-adjacent covers collections announced. Wolf Of The Cosmos is out 11/17 on Palace/Drag City. Go Dig My Grave is out 2/9 via SusannaSonata.