It’s not every day we post about covers. Well, to be honest, it’s very rare that we do. But exceptions are exceptions. And they exist for exceptional reasons. Racoon Racoon cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s The Sound of Silence is full of exceptional reasons.
Léa and Léonard for this chamber-folk duo from France. Girlfriend and boyfriend for a long time, they began to compose together when living in Belgium. They released their first EP as Racoon Racoon, Our Love’s Funeral, about one year ago, and recently the second. Dawn Chorus is the name of the EP and the reason why we first came about Racoon Racoon.
The Sound of Silence is released tomorrow (and premiere today by us) and serves as the build-up for their first album. But also serves as more than that. Everybody that plays it will easily and quickly understand why. In a song like this one, expectations are high. A lot of people has covered the song, so there is little room for improvement, or for surprises. Racoon Racoon accomplishes both in a natural and overwhelming way. His vocals are solid and set up the song interestingly and in an immersive way. And when both vocals emerge together going a bit distinct ways, they sound like an effortless and greatly melodic combination. And as the duet evolves in an even gorgeous way, doing gentle and surprising modifications to the song structure, the acoustic guitar and the violins also work like charm.
Even if this sounds effortless, or marvelously simple, this is also a track that resulted from a lot of work and from a period difficult to manage for the duo.
“When we first tried though, a few days before Christmas last year, we came close to breaking-up and ending Racoon Racoon project, because the track revealed itself to be SO difficult to manage… We couldn’t handle the right harmonies, it was ridiculous … But then, water under the bridge… And what divided us 6 months ago just helped us get through one of the biggest change of our lives : moving out of Italy where we had been living for two years. I don’t even know how, but we managed to record that song between all the boxes and dismantled furniture… It felt like a gasp of air in a quite overwhelming period”.
In the end, all we can say is that if you listen to this out loud, you will experience chills all over the place. We do. Every single time.
P.S. There is a free download of the song at Racoon Racoon’s Bandcamp from midnight.