Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Hump Day Hot Ticket: Kingfisher Sky “Winter”

Band photo

Over the last several months since I started this feature, I have discovered a lot of great new music, and I have also had the chance to review the latest material from bands I already like, which is the case this week. However, without going back into my archives and checking for sure, I do not believe I have yet reviewed a cover song. Surely if I am wrong, someone will be happy to correct me in the comments section!

This week's video comes to us from the Dutch band Kingfisher Sky, whose combination of symphonic and progressive musical influences make way for gorgeous melodies steeped in classical, new-age sensibility. The way they bring all these sounds together, it then perhaps comes as no surprise that their choice of a cover song is by another artist also known for fusing together genres so seamlessly: Tori Amos, whose brand of piano-based alternative rock has garnered her massive success and a loyal following to this day.

Musically, Kingfisher Sky is far closer to the spectrum of an artist like Tori Amos than they are to their symphonic metal counterparts, so their attempt at tackling one of Tori's songs does not seem too unlikely a fit for them. Vocally, frontwoman Judith Rijnveld has a similar tone and style to Tori, so I could very easily imagine her doing a very good job on a track that I consider to be one of my favorite Tori Amos songs: the gentle ballad “Winter”, from her landmark debut album Little Earthquakes, released nearly 25 years ago.

The video itself is also as simple and strong as the song itself: the band's new keyboardist, Erik van Ittersum, sits at a piano in an empty room (which appears to be a church or music hall) as the opening notes play, and the camera snakes around him until we catch sight of Judith, sitting alone in a row of chairs behind him, and her vocals begin. She enunciates the lyrics more clearly than Tori does, which is somewhat nice if you do not know all the lyrics! Her voice also lends more of a “Celtic” or folk-style feel to it, which I also like. As the song progresses, Judith gets up from her seat and makes her way to where Erik continues to play. The rest of the video just shows the two of them performing together, but this powerful rendition needs no extra accoutrements, and it was so good that I hope they will officially release this on a future album or single someday.

For more information on Kingfisher Sky, visit their official website.

Special thanks to Ivar de Graaf.

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