Ben Gibbard curated Yoko Ono cover LP (hear David Byrne & Yo La Tengo do “Who Has Seen the Wind?”)
Yoko Ono turns 89 in February, and to celebrate, Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie has curated a cover album featuring 14 new versions of her songs performed by artists including David Byrne, Yo La Tengo, Sharon Van Etten, Sudan Archives, Thao, US Girls, Jay Som, Stephin Merritt (Magnetic Fields), Deerhoof, We Are KING, The Flaming Lips, Japanese Breakfast, and Amber Coffman. Ocean Child: Songs of Yoko Ono is due out on her birthday, 2/18, via Canvasback Music / Atlantic Records, and a portion of proceeds will go to WhyHunger. See the cover art and tracklist below.
"Yoko makes art that teaches all of us that peace is possible," Gibbard says, continuing that the album "was born out of both love and frustration." He goes on:
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. 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.
The first single is a rendition of "Instant Karma!" b-side "Who Has Seen the Wind?" from Yo La Tengo and David Byrne. Watch the lyric video below.
The album will also be accompanied by a podcast, hosted by Gibbard and music journalist Jenny Eliscu and featuring many of the artists on the album discussing Yoko's music and legacy. Watch a trailer below.
Tracklist: Ocean Child: Songs of Yoko Ono
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