Cat Power adds a dreamy glow to Burt Bacharach’s “What the World Needs Now” with her cover of the 1965 pop tune. The singer has played the song live numerous times since 2014, and she recently issued her studio version on a seven-inch single packaged with the deluxe vinyl edition of her most recent LP, Wanderer.
Chan Marshall re-arranges the song from the ground up, downplaying the jazziness of the original piano part by working in a snappy groove. She experiments with the vocal phrasing and melody, as the arrangement swells with reverb-heavy whistling, stereo-panned shakers and accordion.
“I wanted to release a song with a message of hope,” says Marshall. “‘What the world needs now is love sweet love,’ is a lyric we all can embrace right now.”
“What the World Needs Now” is one of two covers Marshall recorded during the sessions for Wanderer, her 10th studio album, along with Rhianna’s “Stay.” The self-produced record, her first since 2012’s Sun, also features the Lana Del Rey collaboration “Woman,” which she performed on The Late Show in October.
The songwriter – who recently performed with Punch Brothers’ Chris Thile on his variety radio show Live From Here – is promoting Wanderer on a North American tour; her next date is December 15th in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.