March 11, 2009

Zee Avi enchants from Malaysia, covers Interpol


Born in Borneo and now based in Kuala Lumpur, 23-year old Zee Avi is the first female artist signed to Brushfire Records/Monotone. She was discovered by Raconteurs drummer Patrick Keeler, who liked a video she posted of herself on YouTube enough to send it to his manager Ian Montone (White Stripes, Raconteurs, The Shins, Vampire Weekend). As Zee puts it, next thing she knew, she was on a plane to LA to record her engaging debut record, due out in May.

She’s small in stature, but her voice is a surprisingly powerful retro throwback to some of the female artists she cites as influences: Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald. But backed with her acoustic guitar or ukulele, it’s Ella in a hammock, or Billie sipping mai tais — there’s a tropical breeze here that makes me want summer to hurry up already.

I’ll be interviewing Zee at SXSW, where she plays several parties (including Filter and Readymade). In the meantime, check out this drastically different cover she recorded of Interpol’s “Slow Hands.”

Slow Hands (acoustic Interpol cover) – Zee Avi

You should also click over and take a listen to her first single (“Bitter Heart”) on the KCRW SXSW page.


Sunday March 15
Spaceland, Los Angeles

Thursday March 19 – 12:15pm, Filter SXSW Party
Also appearing: Annuals
*****Free Beer and BBQ from Noon to 1pm
Cedar Street Courtyard, 208 W 4th St, Austin, TX

Friday March 20 – 6:30 am, KGSR Performance
Four Seasons Hotel Lobby
98 San Jacinto Boulevard, Austin, TX

Saturday March 21 – 12:00pm, Readymade Party
Also appearing: M. Ward and Great Northern
Halcyon Coffeehouse, 218 W 4th St, Austin, TX

Saturday March 21 – 10pm, SXSW Showcase
Aces Lounge, 22 E 6th St, Austin, TX

Tuesday March 24 – 8pm
Mercury Lounge, NYC

Friday March 27 – 7pm
Hotel Cafe, LA

[image by the rad Autumn de Wilde]


  • She has a gentle voice, very beautiful. Thank you for sharing!

    Lena — March 11, 2009 @ 11:08 pm

  • if only she would cover songs like public pervert… then surely interpol will contemplate coming to SEA!

    Abang — October 8, 2009 @ 8:35 am

  • […] Hands” by Zee Avi […]

    Episode 18: Slow Dreams | Spilling Rubies — February 21, 2015 @ 6:52 pm

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
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