Well that’s been out for a little while now, and I finally bought the song (and so far one other tune from Loverly).
Her “SJI” is definitely a keeper.
The version on the record stretches to four and a half minutes, but doesn’t feel overstretched. It’s propelled by a really nice back and forth between a high-energy piano line, and a low-key but funky guitar (a paring that’s especially effective in the final minute or so of the tune).
Wilson’s vocals are really engaged, but mostly she shows very fine restraint, and does a great job picking the right moments to break out of that. I have no idea if it was recorded live in studio, but it really has that feel — like a really smoking little jam session. I’ve sometimes found Wilson’s voice a little cold in the past, but definitely not here. There’s even a little hand-clapping, which I have a terrible weakness for. Anyway, this came in way above my expectations, and I think it’s the best new version of “SJI” I’ve heard in quite a while.
One minor lyrical tweak to note: Instead of switching to the first person in the verse about burial instructions (“But a twenty-dollar gold piece on my watch chain,” etc.) she keeps it in the third person — so she’s still discussing the dead lover stretched on the long what table and what (in this case) his funeral should be like.
I almost hesitate to share the above video of a live version from the North Sea Jazz Festival (which I’m not familiar with), above. Maybe it’s a function of the sound quality, but despite approximating (a longer version of) the album arrangement, it’s not nearly as appealing. It’ll give you a very basic idea, but, you’ll have to trust me, the tighter recorded version is vastly superior.