Finding Her Voice
Scarlett Johansson describes the recording of her Tom Waits covers album, "Anywhere I Lay My Head," as an "intimate experience-almost private, in a way."Scarlett Johansson describes the recording of her Tom Waits covers album, "Anywhere I Lay My Head," as an "intimate experience-almost private, in a way." Of course, when you're an actress, Louis Vuitton model and occasional tabloid fixture, pretty much nothing is private.
That's the challenge facing Atco/Rhino Records as it promotes the album, due this week. Sure, Johansson is a familiar face -- and name recognition is a definite marketing bonus -- but the phrase "actress-turned-singer" is bound to set off warning bells.
"Anywhere" was produced by TV On The Radio's Dave Sitek, who says he was going for a "cough medicine/Tinker Bell" vibe, sound-wise. David Bowie, whom Johansson met a party just prior to beginning work on the album, lends his distinctive vocals to the tracks "Falling Down" and "Fannin' Street," while Yeah Yeah Yeahs guitarist Nick Zinner and members of the band Celebration contribute throughout.
Johansson said she initially considered making an album of standards, but that the project slowly morphed into a Waits-dominated affair. "His melodies are so beautiful and his voice is so distinct," she says. The result, according to Johansson, has met with the notoriously persnickety Waits' approval. "I sent him some of the early, early recordings, and he said, 'Go ahead,'" she says. "I've heard he's very pleased."