Sharon Van Etten and Josh Homme have teamed up for a poignant cover of Nick Lowe’s “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding?” The song was recently featured on Hulu’s new TV series, The Great. Led by the touching vocals of Van Etten, Homme also lends those buttery vocals, along with some lulling slide guitar and percussion. Together, they create a magnetic harmony that makes this cover one to remember (especially during these trying times).
The song comes with a quarantine video, cleverly directed by Matthew Daniel Siskin (via iMessage + telephone) and all shot on iPhones. Sheltering in place, the film reveals both Van Etten and Homme, respectively at home with their families. We see Van Etten smiling and playing with her child; indulging in a glass of wine as her child keeps busy exploring all the ways a blow-up pool can entertain a little one. Through these honest, heartwarming scenes Van Etten is riding the quarantine roller coaster of emotion transitioning from joyful smiles to pensive and somber stares.
That right there, pretty much embodies this quarantine as a parent. I can fully relate. One minute we are full of glee, and the next we’re hitting a low — but through it all we have to keep our game-face on for our children. And I don’t know about you — but a glass of wine, a cocktail and even a micro edible sure helps me get through the darkness of uncertainty.
As I walk through
This wicked world
Searchin’ for light in the darkness of insanity
I ask myself
Is all hope lost?
Is there only pain and hatred, and misery?
We then see Homme’s emotive take with his kids. There’s hugs and kisses, playtime — but through it all he carries a somber face of uncertainty. All these scenes and feelings, “just makes me want to cry.” And what better way to honor this classic song than feature the man himself, Nick Lowe, along with Zach Dawes.
Joshua Homme explains their collaboration further:
“I went to a Courtney Barnett Valentine’s Day concert that Sharon Van Etten was playing as one of a veritable buffet of musicians. She opened her mouth and my mind exploded—that voice, like fresh cream… with a hint of fine grit. When a week later the opportunity arose to sing with her, I jumped at it. This was of course before we had any idea that the world would be going into hiding for months. Recording this song had nothing to do with what we’d be going through… until we started going through it. In these times, it’s a blessing to feel lucky even for a moment… and I feel lucky to have been able to work with Sharon, Zach Dawes, Michael Shuman, Matthew Siskin and our families.
When you’re shooting at home you start out shooting only what you love. Then you get tired and stop. This video doesn’t deal with anything outside of what’s happening within its own little world we created — only what’s happening inside two households connected by what they love the most, nothing more.”
Watch the Video for Sharon Van Etten feat. Joshua Homme’s “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding?”
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We wanted to share something personal and universal. A feeling of home, safety, insecurities, and love. That we are in this time together. All of us, doing what we can to be our best – even during hard times. Our home video for our version of “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding?” is out now. Link in story. Xo Directed by @hello_gambles @matthelders @zachary_dawes @jhobabyduck @queensofthestoneage
Catch Sharon Van Etten Live From Home on May 29:
In celebration of Sharon Van Etten’s debut album, because i was in love, Van Etten will live stream a performance of the album in its entirety from her home in Los Angeles next Friday, May 29th at 2pm PST / 5pm EST. Tickets are on sale now. Bundles are available (ticket + poster), and with each ticket purchase you will be registered to win a signed copy of the original vinyl pressing of because i was in love.
“I wrote my debut album, because i was in love, in a sort of self imposed quarantine- alone with an acoustic guitar in my parents basement,” says Van Etten. “With the album’s anniversary approaching and most of us still in a stay at home mode, I thought it would be meaningful to play the entire album live, from start to finish, in the way it was conceived- solo, with only my acoustic guitar.”
A portion of the concert’s proceeds will benefit Sharon Van Etten’s band and crew as well as the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA), which is working to secure financial support to preserve the national ecosystem of independent venues and promoters.
Words: Sandra Burciaga Olinger