I recently was lucky enough to be given the chance to hear the very stripped back demo for a song that Erin is working on. It will be followed up with a produced version by Nick Herrera, the Grammy nominated engineer and producer who has worked with artists such as Hiatus Kaiyote, but for now I was treated to this very understated ode to the legendary Chet Baker.
This is very much what Erin’s music sounds like before it goes to production but what this means is that the full extent of the beauty and soul in her melancholy vocals are laid bare. Chet Baker is famous for the plaintive, fragile tone of both his jazz trumpet playing and his vocals and the way that he conveyed such honesty through his music, a very contemporary thing all those years ago. The original song ‘But Not For Me’ was written by the irrepressible George and Ira Gershwin, the American lyricist and composer brothers who created some of the most memorable songs in the English language of the 20th century. Songs like ‘S’Wonderful’, ‘I Got Rhythm’ and ‘They Can’t Take That Away From Me’ and shows like ‘Porgy & Bess’, ‘Funny Face’ and ‘An American in Paris’ are just some of their joint contribution to the catalogue of music of that era.
The pace of Erin’s take on this stunning song owes more for me to the Harry Connick Jr. version recorded back in 1989. It has a beautiful melody and contemporary nostalgia as it samples the lyrics from the Chet Baker classic before going into a Chet style trumpet solo. Erin’s usual classy vocals transport the listener to a different world and I have to confess, I really hope production will not take away that wonderful feeling and intimacy that the demo has. Whilst pace may owe more to Harry Connick’s version, the fragility and vulnerability combined with an inner strength is very much Erin and very much the person she is paying tribute to, Chet Baker.
These are exciting times for Australian artist Erin and this release will follow hot on the heels of one of my favourite songs of the year. ‘Still’ in both its B-side version and more produced version has set the bar for releases super high and yet Erin has managed to come up with something that perfectly suits the vocal purity of her style. UK fans will hear a little of Celeste in the way Erin sings but this is very much the voice of a massive star in the making. The fact that Erin is a fan of the brilliant Chet Baker comes as no surprise as Lady Gaga has proved that you can be a huge contemporary music artist and yet still be able to bring something new to the classy jazz style that Chet Baker made his own. Every time I hear music from this artist, I am excited as to what the future might hold for Erin as she really could choose any direction, or all of them, and be incredible. Stream this beautiful song and keep following the music of this singer; I really get the feeling we are at the start of something very special.