I’m probably biased as I’m a big fan of one of these artists and not really that interested in the other, but I would say that Becky and the Birds’ cover of Bon Iver’s The Wolves (Act I and Act II) is far superior to the original. Not that we’re supposed to judge music in such a binary fashion (it’s not better just… different), but whatever: I think in this instance – given they’re both treading a similar musical path – standing each version toe to toe with one another and seeing who comes out on top is fair enough. And in my humble opinion, this is richer, more engaging, more spine-tinglingly wonderful. You know, just… well, better.
Becky and the Birds is the solo project of Swedish artist Thea Gustafsson, and someone I first came across via her eponymous 2018 debut EP, which is still one I go back to regulalrly. Paris is taken from her new EP Trasslig, which roughly translates from the Swedish “entangled, messy, intricate”, which neatly sums up the vibe across the seven tracks it contains. As on much of her work, her voice on Paris is extraordinary, hitting high notes that transcend traditional vocals and become strange, eerie textures floating above sparse, otherworldly production.