This week, Dan’s brother Will is a guest host for the Song of the Day (or この日の歌).
When you can’t understand the words, the voice just becomes another instrument.
This song is out of place for two reasons. The first is that it’s a cover. The second is that it’s in English.
Shione Yukawa, from what I can gather, is a Japanese Folk artist who is also active under the name sione. She has no Wikipedia page, but you can visit her tumblr if you want to find out some information about her. While some of her music is a bit out there for my tastes, her cover album of songs originally in English is an absolute blast to listen to. Titled Sweet Child O’ Mine the album has covers of songs by bands from the Jackson 5 to Radiohead.
This song in particular is pure ear candy. The backing instrumental track slowly layers, starting with just a simple guitar, and slowly adding banjo, mandolin, and vocal harmonies to the mix before finally concluding by adding drums and horns.
Yukawa’s vocal performance manages the aching catharsis of the original while adding a layer of lighter emotions, simpler sentimentality that concludes to the almost silly instrumental break at the end. Her voice is beautiful, however you will notice that she has a distinct Japanese accent on her English, and if that sort of thing bothers you, it might be too much to bear. However, if you can ignore this slight bit of ‘Engrish’ in her vocal delivery, Shione Yukawa provides an endearing album of calming covers of all sorts of different bands, great for relaxing to. It’s a fascinating bit of cultural crossover: a Japanese woman interpreting American and British rock songs with a light touch.