Rhiannon Giddens, Amanda Palmer Cover Portishead: Listen - Rolling Stone
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Rhiannon Giddens Joins Amanda Palmer for Stately Portishead Cover

Proceeds from sales of “It’s a Fire” will be donated to the Free Black University Fund

Rhiannon Giddens

Rhiannon Giddens has joined up with Amanda Palmer for a cover of Portishead's 1994 track, "It's a Fire."

AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

Rhiannon Giddens and Amanda Palmer team up for a cover of “It’s a Fire,” a track from the British trip-hop band Portishead’s 1994 album Dummy. Giddens and Palmer recorded the song remotely from their respective homes in Ireland and New York during quarantine.

Trading verses, the singers offer a reverent version of the stately ballad, which has also been covered by Evanescence’s Amy Lee.

“I was craving comfort during lockdown, listening to Portishead’s Dummy over and over again,” Palmer says in a release. “I wanted this cover version to sound more like a dark closet talk between two friends…hanging onto each other for dear life whispering, ‘We’re gonna make it out of here.'”

Added Giddens, who earlier this summer collaborated on a cover of Nick Drake’s “Black Eyed Dog” with Ben Harper, “We all need to take a collective breath together, and breathe on…it’s all of us or none of us.” Giddens also released the solo recording “Don’t Call Me Names” in August.

Proceeds from the collaborative single will be donated to the Free Black University Fund, an organization that plans to transform standard education curriculums and “hold a space for the creation of radical knowledge that pertains to our collective freedom and healing.”

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