St. Vincent is often compared to David Bowie for her continual musical shapeshifting. From album to album she not only changes the way she sounds, but also gives her appearance a big makeover, marking each release with its own personality and persona. But as Brooklyn Vegan points out, last night at the Brooklyn Academy Of Music she paid tribute to one of Bowie’s closest friends and collaborators, someone she doesn’t often get compared to but perhaps should, Lou Reed. She took on his iconic, soaring piano ballad “Perfect Day,” giving it a faithful and emotional rendition that did the source material justice.
St. Vincent is currently supporting her piano renditions of the Masseduction songs, released as Masseducation, with piano-and-voice performances with Thomas Bartlett. In such an atmosphere, this cover makes perfect sense, as the original is mostly just piano until the orchestral swells in the chorus. St. Vincent is a better technical singer than Reed, and manages to give her voice the urgency needed at the song’s peaks to handle things without the benefit of strings. Film fans will of course be familiar with the original from its use in Trainspotting, where it soundtracks a climactic heroin overdose.
Check out St. Vincent covering Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day” above, and look for her Masseducation album out now via Loma Vista.