Japanese Breakfast has released a cover of Bon Iver’s “Skinny Love” as part of a Spotify Singles series in anticipation of the Grammy Awards Sunday (April 3). The cover was released as the B-side of a re-recorded version of the band’s own “Be Sweet.”
To celebrate the best new artist nominees at the upcoming 64th Grammys Awards, Spotify has invited this year’s nominees to cover a song of a past best new artist nominee. Joining previous releases from Arlo Parks, FINNEAS, and Jimmie Allen, Japanese Breakfast’s “Skinny Love” is a nod to her labelmate Justin Vernon, frontman of Bon Iver, who won the Grammy for best new artist in 2012.
“We decided to record Bon Iver’s ‘Skinny Love’ because it felt like a very surprising cover for Japanese Breakfast,” the band said. “It’s so moving and sparse. We felt we could add some interesting instrumentation to the track and celebrate our fellow labelmate Bon Iver.”
And so they did. Michelle Zauner, singer and guitarist of Japanese Breakfast, introduced an orchestral arrangement with heavier percussion that lends “Skinny Love” a folk-rock grandeur. Bon Iver first released the song in 2007 as the lead single to their debut album For Emma, Forever Ago, setting the tone for their folk-dominated discography.
Last year, Zauner published Crying in H Mart: A Memoir, a New York Times best seller. In the book, she recounts her mother’s battle with terminal cancer. Besides Zauner’s nomination for best new artist Grammy this year, her third album, Jubilee, was nominated for best alternative music album.
With music’s biggest night right around the corner, you can find out how to watch the Grammys live here.