Monday, June 16, 2008

Cover vs. Original: Jens Lekman/Nagisa Ni Te - Me On The Beach

Seriously, just how awesome is Jens Lekman. He made the second best album of 2007. He gives away tons of mp3s from his self-releases on his site. He has a cool, witty blog, which he calls 'Smalltalk' instead. And he covers obscure songs I never heard of. 'Me On The Beach' was on his 2005 US tour EP, and though it's a fairly simple recording, just him and a piano, Jens really made it his own. And he sang in Japanese! Despite not understanding a word, the melodies are just way too beautiful to resist, it even has this almost meditative quality to it. Wouldn't sound of place in a Studio Ghibli movie. The next step is inevitable: me seeking out the original to see if it rivals his version.

In my mind, I imagined the song as this little-known traditional Japanese folk song. It's not. It's a song by his labelmate, a psych-folk duo named Nagisa Ni Te, from their 1995 album On The Love Beach. In stark contrast to his cover, the original is an 8-minute blissed-out track, with a whole 2 minutes of instrumentation. It's experimental, but still, listenable and melancholy. Thanks for this one, Jens. One for the summer, certainly.

Jens Lekman - Me On The Beach

Nagisa Ni Te - Nagisa No Watashi (Me On The Beach)

Which one do you prefer? Leave a comment, then.

Visit Jens' site for more mp3 'presents'.
Visit Nagisa Ni Te's.
Rough English translation of the song.

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