With excellent playing and production and a strong, pure vocal, Emma Swift has created a terrific new version of a familiar song. Covering Dylan takes courage but Swift approaches the task with confidence and makes ‘Queen Jane Approximately’ her own. The single is taken from ‘Blonde on the Tracks’, Swift’s new album due out on 14th August. The album, produced by Wilco’s Patrick Sansone, is a collection of new interpretations of Bob Dylan’s songs.
Swift explains: “The idea for the album 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 no doubt, 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. You can learn a lot about words by singing someone else’s. I’m very influenced by singers like Sandy Denny, Joan Baez, Billie Holiday, Sinead O’Connor. There’s an art to interpretation, and for me, these women are the masters. I’m as indebted to them on this record as I am to Bob Dylan.”
The Nashville-based Australian singer-songwriter’ nuanced, sensitive interpretations are impressive and well-worth checking out. Enjoy.