Former Jealous Girlfriends frontwoman and now solo artist Holly Miranda has taken on the music of Jeff Buckley, Lauryn Hill, and even Tool in various live settings, but now she’s taken her estimable cover song skills to the studio for a wonderful The Magician’s Private Library companion EP, Choose to See. Featuring stunning renditions of tunes by David Byrne, Swans, Lauryn Hill’s “Ex-Factor” (which she once performed for a Black Cab Session), When In Rome, and Yoko Ono, Choose to See is a surprisingly cohesive work, given its diverse range of source material.
Miranda’s version of “Nobody Sees Me Like You Do,” Yoko Ono’s ode to John Lennon, released just 6 months following his December ’80 death on the classic Season of Glass LP, is perhaps my favorite cut from the EP. Whereas Ono breaks your heart by channeling the slapback echo, trademark chord progressions, and sonic palette of her late husband (with a little help from Lennon co-conspirator Phil Spector), Miranda’s take employs violins, distorted guitars, and stuttering beats to build up an equal — almost more immediately dramatic — emotional impact (with help from Dave Sitek). Either way, the lyrics adorning the hook (“no one can see me like you do”) pull at my heartstrings à la Karen O’s “they don’t love you like I love you” in Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “Maps,” and that’s reason enough to love this. Enjoy: