Since moving to Detroit during her teenage years, Holly Miranda has become a staple of Brooklyn’s music scene. In addition to three solo albums, including last May’s self-titled record and the Dave Sitek-produced The Magician’s Private Library in 2010, the singer-songwriter logged time with The Jealous Girlfriends, a rock outfit that shared bills alongside the likes of Nada Surf and The Delta Spirit.
After spending some 13 years focused on her own original material, Miranda will put out a six-track covers EP titled Party Trick next month; it features her spin on Drake (“Hold On, We’re Going Home”), Bon Iver (“Blood Bank”), and Sparklehorse (“Hundreds of Sparrows”), among others.
“The title of this album comes from Tegan Quin [of Tegan and Sara, with whom Miranda toured in 2010] saying I could take any song and ‘make it sad’ she said it was my ‘Party Trick’”, Miranda explained in a press release. It turns out much of her musical prowess today can be attributed to her knack for covering other people’s work.
“It’s how I learned to play the guitar,” said Miranda. “I was on a missions trip to Belarus when I was 14 and this girl brought a guitar and taught me ‘Linger’ and ‘Zombie’ by the Cranberries. I’d been playing piano since I was 6, but it wasn’t till then that I really started enjoying playing music. When I got home I started learning every song I could find the chords to online and taught myself that way.”
Earlier this month, she shared her rendition of “Hold On, We’re Going Home”. This week, she’s back with an ethereal take on “Blood Bank”. Though it retains Justin Vernon’s lonesome chilliness, there’s something inherently warm and inviting about Miranda’s vocals. Here, she opens up the heart of what is otherwise a song that feels isolated, trapped in its own head.
“The challenge for doing a cover is to try and make your own,” Miranda tells Consequence of Sound. “Not just in sound but to really find the empathy so you can put yourself into the shoes of the writer as much as possible. I have no interest in being a mimic (unless you ask to see my Björk, Columbo or Rachel Zoe impersonation). I spent one very long night in a tiny room by myself making this cover, I do feel like I made it my own and like I lived inside of it for a moment. When I hear it now I’m immediately thrown back to that room. Music is magic like that.”
Stream it below.
Party Trick arrives on May 13th through Dangerbird. Pre-order it here.
Party Trick Artwork:
Party Trick Tracklist:
01. Hold On, We’re Going Home (Drake)
02. Blood Bank (Bon Iver)
03. In Spite Of Me (Morphine)
04. Forever Young (Alphaville)
05. Love Came Here (Lhasa De Sela)
06. Hundreds Of Sparrows (Sparklehorse)
Holly Miranda 2016 Tour Dates:
06/04 – New York, NY @ Governors Ball Music Festival
06/08 – Boston, MA @ Great Scott
06/09 – Portsmouth, NH @ 3S Artspace
06/10 – Hudson, NY @ Club Helsinki
06/11 – Providence, RI @ Columbus Theatre
06/12 – Northampton, MA @ Parlor Room