In "So Here We Are," a lovely song from Gordi's Clever Disguise EP, the Australian singer-songwriter's voice is heavily manipulated with a vocoder. The result, as it so often does, feels both alien and intimate.
A few months after that debut EP, Gordi — real name: Sophie Payten — returns with no such devices. Covering the breathtaking closing track from Bon Iver's new album 22, A Million, she sings "00000 Million" unadorned, with only the echo of the room to accompany her. The approach highlights not only the considerable warmth of Gordi's voice, but also the gorgeous melody she inherits from Bon Iver's Justin Vernon.
"When I first heard this song," she writes via email, "I was struck by the feeling that I already knew it. It has a familiarity that I think just comes with good songwriting. The lyrical imagery is thoughtful and heartbreaking, and I wanted to draw special attention to that with this cover. I think words can be best understood when they are all you can hear."