Daily Distraction: Bartees Strange covers Bon Iver's 'Skinny Love'
And he nails it
Not sure if you've heard, but I'm a fan of Bon Iver. That doesn't necessarily mean I'm a fan of Bon Iver covers, though. Justin Vernon's singular style is a tough one for artists to reinterpret. Typically, it involves ironing out the interesting wrinkles that make Bon Iver, Bon Iver (see what I did there?).
In the early, For Emma days of Bon Iver, when Vernon's artistry was synonymous with his origin story, a bunch of artists covered his breakthrough single, "Skinny Love." Birdy's version is probably the best known, and though it's very pretty, it never hit home for me in the way the raw, pockmarked original did.
In his recent cover of "Skinny Love," Bartees Strange plays it pretty straight. It's just a dude and his guitar (in the same open tuning as Vernon's), and he nails it in a way not many musicians could, employing the soulful falsetto that made 2020 album Live Forever so compelling. I can't wait to see what Bartees Strange does next.
Check out the cover below: