AUSTRALIAN chanteuse, Nashville resident and partner of Robyn Hitchcock, Emma Swift has saddled up to ride into your hearts with the video for her cover of Dylan’s “Queen Jane Approximately.”
Hell, it’s beautiful. She takes it for a deep spin towards Gene Clark country, and lays it down as a chiming weary tune, with 12-strings chiming in from Wilco’s Patrick Sansone.
Charming as you like, it comes with a magical stop-motion film from animator Hugh Hales-Tooke, which you can watch below. He said: “The inspiration came from pondering the Rolling Thunder Revue and the magical, carnival sideshow atmosphere.
“The entire animation is comprised of still images, including the live action segments; no video footage was used.”
“Queen Jane Approximately” is culled from Emma’s forthcoming set of Dylan covers, Blonde on the Tracks, which Tiny Ghost is issuing on August 14th.
She explained: “I’ve always enjoyed the Laurel Canyon sound and on this recording of ‘Queen Jane Approximately’, producer Patrick Sansone and I had a load of fun evoking the spirit and the sound of The Byrds. It really helped set the tone for the rest of the album.”
But why a covers album? Emma details its conception. “The idea came about during a long depressive phase; the kind where it’s hard to get out of bed and get dressed and present to the world as a high-functioning human. I was lost on all fronts, but especially creatively.
“I’ve never been a prolific writer, but this period was especially wordless. Sad, listless and desperate, I began singing Bob Dylan songs as a way to have something to wake up for. Interpreting other people’s emotions is how I learned to sing and I’ve always enjoyed hearing Dylan’s songs from a female perspective. You can learn a lot about melody and feeling by the way a singer chooses to interpret someone else’s song.”
The album also features “I Contain Multitudes,” which has another beautiful animated treatment.
You can place your pre-order for Blonde on the Tracks now, but be quick; the limited cassette and orange vinyl runs are already gone, je suis désolée.