Lorenzo Wolff – “The Pearl” (Judee Sill Cover) (Feat. Bartees Strange)
The Californian singer-songwriter Judee Sill released two album in her lifetime, and neither was especially successful commercially. Both of those albums came out in the early ’70s, and Sill died of a heroin overdose in 1979, when she was 35. Over the years, though, Sill has become a cult favorite, and artists like Beth Orton, Dan Rossen, and Fleet Foxes’ Robin Pecknold have covered her songs. (Also, Greta Gerwig sings Sill’s “There’s A Rugged Road” in the movie Greenberg.) Now another musician is putting together a whole Sill tribute album, and he’s bringing in a number of peers to help.
The producer and multi-instrumentalist Lorenzo Wolff has just announced a new tribute LP called Down Where The Valleys Are Low: Another Otherworld For Judee Sill. The LP features seven new versions of Wolff’s songs, and each of them has a different singer. Mary-Elaine Jenkins, Grace McLean, and Emily Holden are among the participants. And right now we get to hear Wolff team up with Bartees Strange, who released the great album Live Forever last year and who’s no stranger to radical cover versions, to reinvent Sill’s 1973 song “The Pearl.”
In their version, Wolff and Strange have turned “The Pearl,” once a delicate folk song, into a loping rocker that gives Strange’s huge voice plenty of room. Below, listen to their version of the song, as well as Sill’s original.
Down Where The Valleys Are Low: Another Otherworld For Judee Sill is out 3/12 on StorySound Records.