In January of 2012, singer songwriters (and husband and wife) Jenny & Tyler released a stirring version of Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence”. The release was a vehicle to raise money and awareness for the fight against human trafficking, and the effort was perhaps more successful that the duo had hoped for (the single garnered enough attention to chart in the top five on iTunes during its release week). Afterwards, the couple determined that they would continue to fight human trafficking by releasing an entire recording dedicated to the cause. For Freedom: A Covers EP was released today, and features six newly recorded tracks, plus “The Sound of Silence”. All proceeds from the album will be put towards ending human trafficking.
Honestly, to say that For Freedom is a project made up of “covers” is a bit of a misnomer. In truth, it would be better to call it an album of “re-imaginings”. It is abundantly obvious that Jenny & Tyler labored long over their arrangements—they have carefully layered guitars, vocals, percussion, etc. in ways that reflect the spirit of the original recordings, while remaining true to the pair’s well-established “sound”. For instance, Jenny & Tyler’s version of “Tonight, Tonight” is quite impressive, and retains all of the intensity and quirkiness of The Smashing Pumpkins’ original, even though the 90’s rock sound has been replaced by folk-rock instrumentation and xylophone accents. Likewise, “We Will Become Silhouettes” featured synths and electronic beats in The Postal Service’s original recording, but For Freedom’s version lands squarely between the original style and The Shins’ popular acoustic interpretation. Unlike The Shins, Jenny & Tyler employ plucked strings to subtly recreate the familiar electronic melodies, and their constantly-building layers create a sort of manic energy which embodies the curious juxtaposition of cheerful music and melancholy lyrics found in the original. Finally, it is worth mentioning that the couple wanted to do something a-typical with their version of “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”. Jenny & Tyler placed an open call earlier this year for friends and fans to send in a video or audio recording of themselves singing one of four harmony lines. Those recordings have been blended to create the choir heard on the album. Somehow, a group of strangers being blended together in this manner seems abundantly appropriate on an album meant to aid in the global movement against human trafficking.
To learn more about For Freedom: A Covers EP and Jenny & Tyler, visit their website. Enjoy a video from one of their previous releases below.