Song of The Year-The Pines by 070 Shake
Leadbelly would be pretty excited about the 2020 Cover of one of his favorite songs, Where Did You Sleep Last Night? It comes on 070 Shake’s new album Modus Vivendi. She makes it a completely modern experience with heavy autotune and synths, but Shake and her team(Mike Dean produced this! LIVING LEGEND STYLE) do an excellent job of rearranging parts of the song to leave space for her to add new lyrics of her own (along with heavy bass and some finger snaps). While you could listen to this the first time and not connect it to Leadbelly or Bill Monroe until mid-way, the haunting quality is maintained in an attentive way. When violins come in near the end the bass is still rolling like waves and she is still beckoning for The Pines.
I’m very happy that this song continues to live in various forms. It’s authorship is unknown and dates back to the 1870’s (most likely). Leadbelly and Monroe did it, Nirvana in 1993 during their Unplugged. American popular music borrows a lot from other cultures without apology or acknowledgement. We vampire Caribbean and African sounds just to name check a few. It is important we have a healthy reference point for what American songs are, that our entire artistic landscape is not a shopping cart full of other cultures stuff. We created hybrids that are ours. Old Irish folk mixed with the Blues and songs like Where Did You Sleep Last Night are gorgeously painful in a way that is American. That doesn’t mean we should play it over and over again, we should keep rebuilding it to fit us as we change. The emotions contained within the story always will.