Details are still scant on Amanda Palmer‘s new album Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under, but we’ve confirmed that it includes two covers. The songs were all inspired by Australia, so she sings tunes by two native-born musicians: Nick Cave and Peter Jeffries. The record drops on Australia Day (which, as I’m sure you all know, is January 26th).
“I’m putting a record out in just a little more than a month and I’ve been very secretive about it,” she said at a live show Sunday. “It’s a collection of songs I either wrote in or [was inspired to write by] Australia and New Zealand.”
In addition to Aussie-themed songs like “The Vegemite Song” and “Map of Tasmania” (which features gloriously NSFW art), Palmer includes covers by two musicians from down under. To try to keep peace in the southern hemisphere, she selected one from Australia and one from New Zealand.
“This particular cover is by one of my favorite songwriters, who no one seems to know,” she said Sunday before the song’s debut performance (which you can watch below). “This guy’s named Peter Jeffries. He’s from New Zealand and he put out a couple of records that definitely changed my life when I was in college. This is one of them. I wanted to pick one of his songs to represent New Zealand – and there’s a Nick Cave cover to represent Australia, ’cause they hate each other – and this one is so beautiful. If you’ve ever been to New Zealand or seen pictures, it’s this…great combination of comforting and alienating. This is one of those songs that captures that.”
The song is “On an Unknown Beach,” and you can watch Sunday’s first-ever performance of it below (song starts at 19:40). While she hasn’t officially announced the Nick Cave song she’ll cover, we assume it will be “The Ship Song,” which she performed in Australia this past year. The Australasian Performing Right Association named it one of the 30 best Australian songs of all time (full list here), so it seems an appropriate choice. Watch a video below of a live performance at the Sydney Opera House.
Update: Palmer confirms “The Ship Song” via a blog post.
Amanda Palmer – On an Unknown Beach (Peter Jeffries cover)
Amanda Palmer – The Ship Song (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds cover)