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Music

Yoko Ono tribute compilation announced with David Byrne, Sharon Van Etten and more

There is a reason why John Lennon fell in love with Yoko Ono. In fact, there are several reasons. She was forward-thinking, she was creative, and she held many philosophies on art that no one else (not even his fellow Beatles), would have shown him.

Her art was confrontational, her music vivid, and in her interviews, she portrayed herself as a woman searching for acceptance within herself. The outside world could exhibit her art, but Ono had to live it.

In ‘Julia’, Lennon’s most autobiographical piece, the Beatle sang one last tune for his mother before turning his attentions to the ‘Ocean Child’, the song calling him from the sidelines. Clearly, she had a pull over Lennon, as her art had a pull on many contemporary avant-gardists.

Ocean Child: Songs of Yoko Ono is another extension of her influence. Comprising 14 versions of her songs, the album is a collation of artists exhibiting their admiration for her work.

Among the luminaries are David Byrne and Yo La Tengo, whose collaborative cover of ‘Who Has Seen The Wind?’ can be heard on all DSPs and streaming services alongside an official lyric video streaming, which can be viewed at the bottom of the page.

Sharon Van Etten, Death Cab for Cutie, US Girls, Japanese Breakfast, Jay Som, Stephin Merritt (of Magnetic Fields), Thao, Sudan Archives, We Are KING, and Amber Coffman have each contributed their own idiosyncratic covers, honouring the far-reaching Ono by putting their truths on her material.

Art is designed to be fashioned to fit the perspective of the artist, a lesson Ono demonstrated to Lennon as he ached for a lyrical voice outside of The Beatles. Without her influence, we would not have anthems ‘God’ and ‘Jealous Guy’, songs brimming with guttural honesty.

And yet we shouldn’t overlook the fact that she was a fine songwriter in her own write (Yes, a Beatle joke), and with any luck, more people will fall in love with Yoko Ono when they listen to this record.

Ocean Child: Songs of Yoko Ono Tracklisting:

  • ‘Toyboat’ – Sharon Van Etten
  • ‘Who Has Seen The Wind’ – David Byrne And Yo La Tengo
  • ‘Dogtown’ – Sudan Archives
  • ‘Waiting For The Sunrise’ – Death Cab For Cutie
  • ‘Yellow Girl (Stand For Life)’ – Thao
  • ‘Born In A Prison’ – US Girls
  • ‘Growing Pain’ – Jay Som
  • ‘Listen, The Snow Is Falling’ – Stephin Merritt (of Magnetic Fields)
  • ‘No No No’ – Deerhoof
  • ‘Don’t Be Scared’ – We Are KING
  • ‘Mrs Lennon’ – The Flaming Lips
  • ‘No One Sees Me Like You Do’ – Japanese Breakfast
  • ‘There Is No Goodbye Between Us’ – Yo La Tengo
  • ‘Run Run Run’ – Amber Coffman

Stream the first release, below.