New Yoko Ono Tribute Album Set, David Byrne, and Yo La Tengo Release the First Single

Photo by Iain Macmillan

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Today (January 5), there’s big news for Yoko Ono fans, as well as those looking to know more about the notorious artist.

The two-time Grammy Award-winning Ono is the subject of a new cover album from Canvasback Music/Atlantic Records. The new album, Ocean Child: Songs of Yoko Ono, is set for release on February 18, which is also the artist’s 89th birthday.

Fans can pre-order the new LP here. But wait, there’s more!

The new LP is imagined and curated by Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard and features 14 cover songs from artists like David Byrne and Yo La Tengo.

“Yoko makes art that teaches all of us that peace is possible,” said Gibbard in a press statement.

Check out the song “Who Has Seen The Wind?” from the duo below.

Other Ono covers will come from artists like The Flaming Lips and Deerhoof. Also featured are Death Cab for Cutie, Sharon Van Etten, Japanese Breakfast, Thao (formerly Thao and the Get Down Stay Down) and many more.

A portion of the album’s proceeds will be donated to WhyHunger, a non-profit organization that Ono has supported for decades.

Ocean Child: Songs of Yoko Ono “was born out of both love and frustration. The ‘love’ part is pretty obvious; It is the seemingly bottomless well of inspiration and enjoyment Yoko Ono’s music has provided me and I must assume everyone else present here on this compilation,” Gibbard continued in a statement. “The ‘frustration’ part, on the other hand, goes back decades.

“As an advocate, the tallest hurdle to clear has always been the public’s ignorance as to the breadth of Yoko’s work. To put it into context; This is an artist whose output has run the gamut from avant-garde to bubblegum pop, often across a single album. For years, it has been my position that her songwriting has been criminally overlooked. She has consistently created melodies as memorable as those of best pop writers. As a lyricist, she has always written with poignance, sophistication and deep introspection. 

“Some of her best songs have been covered and compiled here by a generation-spanning group of musicians for whom her work has meant so much. It is my sincere hope that a new crop of Yoko Ono fans fall in love with her songwriting due in some small part to this album we have put together.”

In addition to the album, Gibbard has planned a podcast.

According to the release, “[The podcast will be] hosted by Gibbard and veteran music journalist Jenny Eliscu and featur[es] in-depth discussions of Ono’s music and legacy with many of the artists featured on the new album. Songs of Yoko Ono premieres via all podcast providers.”

Check out the official trailer for the project below, which features Byrne, Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips, Gibbard, Thao and Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner.

Ocean Child: Songs of Yoko Ono official Track List:

1. Toyboat – Sharon Van Etten

2. Who Has Seen The Wind? – David Byrne and Yo La Tengo

3. Dogtown – Sudan Archives

4. Waiting For The Sunrise – Death Cab for Cutie

5. Yellow Girl (Stand For Life) – Thao

6. Born In A Prison – US Girls

7. Growing Pain – Jay Som

8. Listen, The Snow Is Falling – Stephin Merritt (of Magnetic Fields)

9. No No No – Deerhoof

10. Don’t Be Scared – We Are KING

11. Mrs. Lennon – The Flaming Lips

12. No One Sees Me Like You Do – Japanese Breakfast

13. There Is No Goodbye Between Us – Yo La Tengo

14. Run Run Run – Amber Coffman

Feature photo by Iain Macmillan

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