Mar 062024
patrick watson perfect day

“Komorebi” is a Japanese word meaning “sunlight leaking through the trees,” or so the internet tells me. It seems to conjure up images of a particular kind of autumnal, pastoral sunlight for Japanese speakers. It has found it’s way into English lately as English does not have its own word for this particular image or feeling.

Canadian singer-songwriter Patrick Watson has dubbed his new piano instrumental cover of Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day” the “komorebi version” and has even taken pains to give it artwork featuring a Japanese man lying on the floor in this particular type of sunlight. He’s leaning hard into the imagery. And that’s appropriate because his new cover is very much the right music for “komorebi” if I understand the word correctly.

At this point, “Perfect Day” might be Lou Reed’s second-most-famous solo song following that UK ’90s all-all-stars-for-charity cover. It is his second-most-covered song by a mile (the first is “Walk on the Wild Side”). The original begins pretty sedately and pleasantly, with the piano and Reed’s hushed vocal. But, of course, the chorus is full-on bombast, as is the bridge, with the orchestra featuring prominently. And there’s the vaguely sinister coda, where we’re not sure if what is being sown, which will be reaped, is a good thing or a bad thing.

Patrick Watson ignores the bombast and potentially sinister ending and leans into the inherently gorgeous melody of the song. I was not familiar with the idea of “komorebi” until I listened to this song, but Watson seems to have completely captures the mood of the word in this cover. It’s way too active to be ambient, despite its stately beginning. The melody is just too compelling and Watson plays it jauntily enough during the bridge to perhaps wake us up from our afternoon nap. But it captures something ineffable about a particularly satisfying experience of the natural world in its beauty.

Cover Me is now on Patreon! If you love cover songs, we hope you will consider supporting us there with a small monthly subscription. There are a bunch of exclusive perks only for patrons: playlists, newsletters, downloads, discussions, polls - hell, tell us what song you would like to hear covered and we will make it happen. Learn more at Patreon.

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>