The Jessica Stuart Few's secret weapon has always been the cover song. When your music is hard to categorize (Stuart's press credentials call her "the only koto-playing indie soul jazz singer-songwriter in the west"), lending your sound to a familiar tune puts it all into focus.
So when the Toronto artist and her trio found they had 10 minutes of extra studio time for their new album The Passage and no originals left to play, they got out the koto (a Japanese 13-stringed zither-like instrument) and broke into a spontaneous cover of one of Stuart's favourites: Little Dragon's "Twice." "It ended up sounding kind of magical and turned out to be one of my favourite things on the album," says Stuart.
Then, equally spontaneously, Stuart found more inspiration from the soulful Swedish electro-pop group: she decided to cover Little Dragon's "Twice" video too.
How does a cover of a music video work? Watch the debut above and then read Jessica Stuart's explanation, which I will not cover.
"A few months [after recording it], I was hanging with a bandmate who had never heard the original 'Twice,' so I put on the music video to show them, and came up with the concept of 'covering' the music video to accompany the cover of the song."
"The original 'Twice' video was made by a guy named Johannes Nyholm, who used shadow puppetry to tell the tale of a girl who leaves her friend behind and travels through the forest."
"My cover of the song always made me think of being underwater, so naturally our cover of the video takes place in the ocean with a mermaid as the protagonist. I was very lucky to link up with video directors KAJART who loved the concept and made a beautiful art piece out of it."
It's a gorgeous double reimagining.