Released on March 15, 2015, Jasmine’s cover of I Will Follow You Into the Dark is nothing short of astounding. The song was originally released in 2005 by the indie group Death Cab for Cutie.
It’s quickly become one of my favorite songs ever, not just one of my favorite of Jasmine’s songs. In trying to express my thoughts about this song, I struggled hard to come up with words to describe what I heard and felt. The song has such an ineffable quality. But, despite the difficulties, I’m going to try anyway.
Having listened to the original and several other covers of this song, I can say it’s the Definitive Rendition. The way Jasmine sings it is so moving (on the first listen, it actually brought me to tears), so soul-ful, so haunting yet tender…she bring the poetry of the lyrics to life, she brings a richness to the song lacking in other versions.
At it’s core, it’s a fairly simple folksy song, originally sung acoustically, accompanied only by a guitar. The power of the song comes from the catchiness of the music along with some very powerful, haunting lyrics meditating about love in the face of death.
Jasmine took that core then added layers of richness to the song, by the piano and guitar backing, but primarily through her voice. She sings the song with varied complexity. For example, pay careful attention to how she sings the line “Illuminate the no’s on their vacancy signs.” She sings that line three times, and each time she sings it in a slightly different way, in a certain progression. Beautiful attention to detail.
When speaking of Jimi Hendrix’ definitive cover of Bob Dylan’s All Along the Watchtower, Dylan marveled at Hendrix’s ability to “find things inside a song and vigorously develop them.” That’s what Jasmine does with I Will Follow. She finds the sense of togetherness within the spaces of the original song, and vigorously develops them in her cover, resulting in a rich, complex rendition. It’s as if the original was sung in black and white, while Jasmine sings it and fills it with deep colors. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHaEUHPb4vg