Avid music listeners, indie and indie folk music lovers, you probably remember the talented dynamic duo The Civil Wars from the early 2000s. The Nashville based former duo was formed in 2008, and just a year later they released the beautiful, memorable, heart wrenching indie style single “Poison and Wine”. The song delves into heartbreak after an ended relationship and the hardships of the positive memories still being very clear and rampant in the protagonist’s mind after the relationship ended too soon, despite it being for the best. Unfortunately, even the duo itself dealt with a real life parallel just a few years later, as the two indie singers, Joy Williams and John Paul White went their separate ways in 2014. However, their energy was evidently never forgotten, as just yesterday, on August 21, 2020, the famous pop star Kelly Clarkson and well rounded multi genre singer Brandi Carlile released a new rebranded version of the song and created a similarly emotional, tear jerking cover exploring the indie folk genre, and it really is a beautiful cover.
As per the virtually dominated world since the Covid-19 pandemic, the final released version of the song was performed being virtually broadcasted rather than an in person music video or live performance. It is clear in the YouTube video of their cover that the instrumentalists are on an isolated stage, with Clarkson and Carlile in separate rooms wearing headphones. However, this ultimately did not detract from the optimal quality of the video, in which the singers’ bold, outstretched, powerful voices were well heard. In their version, both women’s voices were much louder and therefore much more so drove the emotional struggle, sadness, and heartbreak of the relationship and the true difficulty of letting go. I honestly felt the lyrics much more listening to the cover and the volume was a significant factor in that. In addition, the harmonies between the two voices in this recent cover sounded a little different from the original, and they really really work, especially as Carlile kills it inserting her deep and soft riffs in the essential lower voice part, which mostly runs the melody. At the same time, equally crucial is Clarkson’s higher pitched harmonizing accompaniment. They make a creative and effective duo and it really shows in this cover! Honestly, we would be happy and not be surprised at all if they got all inspired to partner up!