Phoebe Bridgers – “Georgia Lee” (Tom Waits Cover)

Phoebe Bridgers is a great songwriter, and she’s also a great interpreter of other people’s songs. For the past year, Bridgers has been busy with Better Oblivion Community Center, her duo with Conor Oberst. But that hasn’t stopped her knocking out covers. In their live shows, Better Oblivion Community Center have covered people like the Replacements, the Killers, and Death Cab For Cutie. And now, we get to hear Bridgers take on Tom Waits on her own.

Today sees the release of the new tribute compilation Come On Up To The House: Women Sing Waits. Warren Zanes produced the LP, and it features people like Aimee Mann, Rosanne Cash, and the duo of Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer singing the songs of Tom Waits. We’ve already posted two of the songs from the compilation, Courtney Marie Andrews’ take on “Downtown Train” and Patty Griffin’s version of “Ruby’s Arms.” And now that the album is out, we get to hear what Bridgers does with it, too.

Bridgers covers “Georgia Lee,” a deeply sad song from Waits’ 1999 album Mule Variations. The song is a tragedy, a true story about an impoverished black girl who, in 1997, was abducted and murdered at the age of 12. Bridgers gives a sensitive, tremulous reading of the song, really driving home how upsetting it is. Listen to her version and the Waits original below.

And while you’re at it, here’s the full album stream for Come On Up To The House: Women Sing Waits:

Come On Up To The House is out now on Dualtone.