Vanessa Carlton Shares Cover Of Elliott Smith’s “Needle In The Hay”

Vanessa Carlton is getting ready to record a new album. But first, she’s keeping fans happy with a stream of six covers over a span of six months. Following her covers of Robyn’s “Call Your Girlfriend” in March, Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” in April, Neil Young’s “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” in May, and “Little Bit Of Rain” last month, Vanessa’s penultimate cover is of the 1995 song “Needle In The Hay,” originally by Elliott Smith.

Vanessa told Variety about covering “Needle In The Hay”:

This is one of my favorite songs, period. Elliott was a great poet and the metaphors in this lyric split me open. This song is a juxtaposition, because the song is about excruciating pain and the brutal moments of an addiction spiral, and yet it’s formed in this drone-y meditative manner. Such restraint makes the listener have to move in closer. And then it breaks you. I hope I did him justice. He deserves the best.

In her cover of “Needle In The Hay,” Vanessa moves in a more ethereal, eerie direction. It retains the vulnerability and detached observations of Elliott’s original. In the accompanying music video, the song plays to atmospheric footage of oceans, desert cliffs, crowded city streets, and lit up neon signs at night. The video doesn’t tell a story, but it does add to the song’s mood.

Watch Vanessa’s music video for “Needle In The Hay” below:

You can stream or download Vanessa’s “Needle In The Hay” cover at all the major music providers here. Be sure to check out her previous covers, too. She covered Robyn’s “Call You Girlfriend” in March, Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” in April, Neil Young’s “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” in May, and “Little Bit Of Rain” last month.

Update 8/6: Find out more about how Vanessa recorded “Needle In The Hay” in Spotify’s ‘The Drop’ interview below:

Vanessa Carlton’s last album, Liberman, came out in fall 2015. It launched stunning singles like “Blue Pool,”“Operator,” “House Of Seven Swords,” and “Nothing Where Something Used To Be,” then led to two live releases: Liberman Live and the Earlier Things Live EP. In 2017, Vanessa revealed she was working on a new album, performing its potential title track, “Love Is An Art,” for lucky fans. While we wait for her new original music, Vanessa is spending most of 2018 with a series of six covers.

We’ve heard five of the six covers so far. Stay tuned for the final cover from Vanessa next month. She’s currently working on her next album, too, expected late this year or sometime in 2019. There’s plenty going on in the Vanessa Carlton world now! Keep checking back here for all the latest music news.

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