Yoko Ono Tribute Album, with David Byrne and more, due next month
Death Cab for Cutie, David Byrne, Yo La Tengo, Japanese Breakfast, Sharon Van Etten and the Flaming Lips are among the artists featured on “Ocean Child: Songs of Yoko Ono”, a tribute compilation “imagined and organized” by Death Cab’s Benjamin Gibbard and coming to Canvasback-Atlantic Records on February 18, Ono’s 89th birthday. The full tracklist appears below.
The album also features US Girls, Jay Som, Stephin Merritt (of Magnetic Fields), Thao, Sudan Archives, We Are King and Amber Coffman. Three of the artists – Yo La Tengo, the Flaming Lips and Deerhoof – have already collaborated with Ono.
The cover of “Who Has Seen the Wind” by Byrne and Yo La Tengo is now available:
A portion of the album’s proceeds will be donated to WhyHunger, a nonprofit that Ono has supported for decades in their efforts to transform the global food system by strengthening social justice and addressing the root causes of hunger. and poverty. Ono has donated millions of dollars to charitable and non-violent causes over the years.
While Ono was a leading avant-garde artist long before meeting her future husband John Lennon in 1966, her sometimes divisive music was often overlooked or dismissed until years, if not decades later, when her influence became evident in artists ranging initially from B-52s and Sonic Youth to Galas Diamanda. A previous tribute album titled “Every Man Has a Woman Who Loves Him” was released in 1984 and featured Lennon, Elvis Costello, Harry Nilsson, Rosanne Cash and others.
“Yoko makes art that teaches us all that peace is possible,” Gibbard said, adding that the album “was born out of both love and frustration. The ‘love’ part is enough. obvious; this is the seemingly bottomless well of inspiration and pleasure that Yoko Ono’s music has given me and I have to assume that everyone is present here on this compilation. The “frustration” part, on the other hand, goes back decades.
“As a lawyer, the biggest hurdle to overcome has always been the public’s ignorance of the scope of Yoko’s work,” he continued. “To put it in context, this is an artist whose production ranges from avant-garde to bubblegum pop, often on a single album. For years my position has been that his songwriting has been criminally neglected. She has always created melodies as memorable as those of the best pop writers. As a lyricist, she has always written with poignantness, sophistication and deep introspection.
“Some of his best songs have been covered and compiled here by a group of musicians spanning several generations for whom his work has meant so much. I sincerely hope that a new generation of Yoko Ono fans will fall in love with his writing, in part thanks to this album that we have composed.
“Ocean Child: Songs of Yoko Ono” will be accompanied by an exclusive podcast, hosted by Gibbard and veteran music journalist Jenny Eliscu, featuring discussions of Ono’s music and legacy with many of the artists featured on the album . An official trailer – starring Byrne, Gibbard, Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne and Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner – is now streaming HERE.
List of tracks:
- Toy boat – Sharon Van Etten
- Who saw the wind? – David Byrne and Yo La Tengo
- Dogtown – Archives of Sudan
- Waiting for the Sunrise – Death Cab for Cutie
- Yellow Girl (Stand For Life) – Thao
- Born in a Prison – American Girls
- Growing Pain – Jay Som
- Listen, the snow is falling – Stephin Merritt (magnetic fields)
- No No No – Deerhoof
- Do not be afraid – We are king
- Mrs. Lennon – Flaming Lips
- Nobody Sees Me Like You – Japanese Breakfast
- There is no goodbye between us – Yo La Tengo
- Course Course Course – Amber Coffman