Cat Power Channels Billie Holiday, Songs from Her Past and Present on ‘Covers’ Album

I’ll be seeing you / In all the old familiar places / That this heart of mine embraces / All day through croons singer, songwriter, and producer Chan Marshall, the mastermind behind Cat Power. Capturing Billie Holiday’s “I’ll Be Seeing You, on her upcoming Covers (Domino) album, out Jan. 14.

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Through Covers, Marshall revisits songs from her past and present with re-imaginings of songs by Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, The Replacements, Lana Del Rey, and more, in addition to a cover of her 2006 single “Hate” with an updated version retitled “Unhate.”

“I play covers all the time,” says Marshall, “and it’s important for me to record them because it’s what me and my listeners both get.”

Set in a darkly lit cabaret hall, Marshall, donned in the most fitting attire and singing off a 1940s-style Shure microphone, pays homage to Lady Day and the song the jazz great covered herself in the 1940s. Originally written by Sammy Fain and Irving Kahal in 1938 for the Broadway show Right This Way, it was Holiday who made the song a hit in 1944. 

Produced entirely by Marshall, Covers also features Marshall’s previous singles, a rendition of Frank Ocean’s “Bad Religion,” the Pogues’ “A Pair Of Brown Eyes,” and Dead Man’s Bones’ “Pa Pa Power,” the latter a song Marshall had been playing live since 2012, song she felt addressed the depletion of the Occupy Wall Street protests by the American media. 

“The American media has always penalized any sort of social progressiveness and is always the first to express conservative rhetoric against something that is beneficial to the nation,” says Marshall, who accompanied the song with a video, directed by Greg Hunt at The Echo in Los Angeles. “I’d open with this song on the 2013 China tour. ‘Burn the streets, burn the cars.’”

“I’ll Be Seeing You” was inspired by recent losses within Marshall’s inner circle, including the 2019 passing of Sun collaborator Philippe Zdar

“When people who you love have been taken from you, there’s always a song that holds their memory in your mind,” shares Marshall. “It’s a conversation with those on the other side, and it’s really important for me to reach out to people that way.”  

Covers follows Cat Power’s 10th album Wanderer, which also featured a cover of Rihanna’s “Stay.” Marshall, who just finished a fall 2021 tour with Alanis Morrisette and Garbage, is set to kick off 32-dates across the U.S., running January through May 2022.

Covers Tracklist

  1. Bad Religion – Frank Ocean 
  2. Unhate – Cat Power – Chan Marshall
  3. Pa Pa Power – Dead Man’s Bones 
  4. White Mustang – Lana Del Rey 
  5. A Pair of Brown Eyes – The Pogues
  6. Against the Wind – Bob Seger
  7. Endless Sea – Iggy Pop 
  8. These Days – Jackson Browne
  9. It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels – Kitty Wells 
  10. I Had a Dream Joe – Nick Cave
  11. Here Comes a Regular – The Replacements 
  12. I’ll Be Seeing You – Billie Holiday 

Photo by Mario Sorrenti

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