In my estimation, the covers that are really worth their salt take a song that you think you know, and then go right ahead to completely re-imagine it. My favorite revisions unearth a hidden nugget of emotional truth, or get at something that you might have missed the first time around. As The Bangles say, “I see you in a different light.”
WAZ is a musician from Southern California who first rose to prominence as the guitarist for Pete Yorn during the musicforthemorningafter era, but now has a solo career in his own right. Waz is a shortening of his last name (no it’s not Mike Wazowski) and everyone ‘cept his momma calls him that. His cover of U2′s “I Will Follow” is bittersweetly intimate and stopped me in my tracks.
I never knew that this song was originally written about the death of Bono’s mother; it has such a huge anthemic blazing image to me, as does much of the U2 from that early era. The original is majestic and almost defiant; it wants to be sung from a thousand enormous arenas. But this version aches, a meandering confessional in front of a backdrop of delicate strings. I love what WAZ does here to reach a different place with this song.
I Will Follow – WAZ
WAZ just opened for Frank Black of the Pixies on some solo shows, culminating at the rad Hotel Utah in SF. More tour dates are anticipated in 2008 to go along with the self-release of his full-length album coming out at the end of January. That album will be released without this track due to some legal wrangling, but he gives his blessing for you to enjoy it here. So do.