Singer-songwriter Sarah Jarosz has released a pair of stripped-down cover songs, including a take on Billie Eilish’s “My Future” and U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” The tracks were originally recorded late summer 2020, when the I’m With Her member was promoting her latest solo album World on the Ground.
“When the reality set in that musicians would likely be some of the last people to get back to work, I needed to do something to cheer myself up,” Jarosz wrote on Instagram, explaining that she challenged herself to learn one cover song per week. “It really proved to be a way for me to stay inspired and connected with my fans at a time when we couldn’t see each other in person.”
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In the case of Eilish’s 2020 single, Jarosz translates its mellow, jazz-influenced keyboard lines to an acoustic guitar, then switches to an intricate fingerpicking pattern for the second verse when the song picks up steam. Jarosz’s version of “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” meanwhile, mimics the Edge’s ringing guitar tones as near as possible with an acoustic instrument, complementing her clear vocal tone.
Jarosz recorded World on the Ground with producer John Leventhal and released it via Rounder Records in June. The native of Wimberley, Texas, drew on her experiences growing up in a small-town to explore themes of inertia and wanderlust on the album, depicting the internal struggles of a traveler who’s landed back where he started in the mysterious single “Johnny.”