Hear David Byrne and Yo La Tengo’s Contribution to Ben Gibbard–Curated Yoko Ono Tribute Album
It’s the first look at Ocean Child: Songs of Yoko Ono, which is out February 18.
Badass Bitch Yoko Ono is turning 89 this year on February 18. In honor of her legacy, Ben Gibbard (yes, of Death Cab for Cutie fame) has curated a compilation to be released on Ono’s birthday. It’s called Ocean Child: Songs of Yoko Ono and contains 14 new renditions of her songs. The roster of artists reimagining her catalogue includes Deerhoof, The Flaming Lips, Sharon Van Etten, Death Cab for Cutie, U.S. Girls, Japanese Breakfast, Jay Som, Stephin Merritt (of Magnetic Fields), Thao, Sudan Archives, We Are KING, Amber Coffman, David Byrne, and Yo La Tengo. The latter two recorded their joint version of “Who Has Seen the Wind?” which is the first single we get to hear from the album.
“Yoko makes art that teaches all of us that peace is possible,” Gibbard said of the icon. He also explained that the LP “was born out of both love and frustration.” He clarified, “The ‘frustration’ part goes back decades. As an advocate, the tallest hurdle to clear has always been the public’s ignorance as to the breadth of Yoko’s work. To put it into context; This is an artist whose output has run the gamut from avant-garde to bubblegum pop, often across a single album. For years, it has been my position that her songwriting has been criminally overlooked. She has consistently created melodies as memorable as those of best pop writers. As a lyricist, she has always written with poignance, sophistication and deep introspection.”
A fraction of the album’s proceeds will be donated to WhyHunger, a non-profit organization Ono has supported for decades in their efforts to transform our food system by striking at the root causes of hunger and poverty. Listen to David Byrne and Yo La Tengo’s take on “Who Has Seen the Wind” below, and pre-order the comp here.