On October 5th, Chan Marshall will release Wanderer, her new album as Cat Power. The 11-track collection and first since 2012’s stellar Sun chronicles “my journey so far,” according to the singer-songwriter. “The course my life has taken in this journey – going from town to town, with my guitar, telling my tale; with reverence to the people who did this generations before me. Folk singers, blues singers, and everything in between.”
Marshall’s path has led her to a collaboration with Lana Del Rey, last month’s “Woman”. It’s also inspired her to engage with yet another important female voice: Rihanna. On Wanderer, Marshall covers RiRi’s 2012 Grammy-nominated smash “Stay”.
Here, Marshall sticks to the minimalist genius of past Cat Power ballads, choosing to pair her smoky, aching vocals with nothing more than skeletal piano chords. There’s no comparing the two artists — they move powerfully, but in their own ways — still, they speak the same raw language.
“I love the tradition of covering songs,” Marshall shared in a statement. “I think it’s one of the highest compliments you can pay another artist. It’s one of the great traditions in American music and one of the true pleasures of music history.”
Take a listen below.
Here’s Rihanna’s original for comparison: