Hey there Free Schoolers. Here are 3 a capella vocals with different musical beds. I can’t say I’m a huge fan of mash-ups, generally, but the effect you’ll hear below can be chilling and can import further, deeper meaning on the original tracks.

First up, it’s Dinah Washington singing This Bitter Earth on top of Max Richter’s On the Nature of Daylight. Robbie Robertson, of all people, layered the two together for his soundtrack for Scorcese’s Shutter Island. The original This Bitter Earth, while still great, is bluesy and contains hope. This pairing seems to abandon hope. But it’s there. Just about.  

Those who don’t know Max Richter should check his soundtrack to Waltz With Bashir, the stunning animated film about the 1982 Lebanon War.

And if my life is like the dust
That hides the glow of a rose
What good am I
Heaven only knows

But while a voice
Within me cries
I’m sure someone
May answer my call
And this bitter earth
May not be so bitter after all



Second we have Jon Hopkins’ remix of James Yorkston’s Woozy With Cider. The track stands out on Yorkston’s The Year Of The Leopard album for its spoken delivery over soft synth arpeggios - hardly standard Yorkston fare. Hopkins replaces the synths with gorgeous piano lines, as Yorkston talks:

As the sun glares through the hotel window I wonder of our future and where it will lead to
I wonder if you’ll be laying there 10 years 20 years 30 years down the line
I’ll still be staring out at the street confused about love and life
It’ll be interesting to see if anyone every bought those songs of mine if anyone heard those words that I never got quite right

Diamond Mine, Hopkins’ album with King Creosote, is a must. Keith Jarrett-like piano, slooooow pieces that take their time, beautiful Scotch melodies.



Finally, we have a track that we put together. It’s Billie Holiday singing At The End Of A Love Affair over Moderat’s A New Error. The Holiday track is from another must-have album: Lady In Satin. Holiday is at the end of her career (and life). Her voice is ravaged from alcohol and drugs. It’s heartbreaking to hear Holiday singing these songs about heartbreak sounding as broken as she does over lush orchestration. You can find our version on the mix below…

Steve