Before she had her baby, Amanda Palmer was terrified that, when she’d had him, she’d 'play nice folk songs'. Now, as she joked to her audience at Koko last month, by making this record with her dad Jack Palmer, 'lo and behold...' Her hope, she continued, was that she was 'exorcising this thing like a satanic demon'. But for some reason, You Got Me Singing doesn’t feel as incongruous with the rest of her self-described 'punk cabaret' body of work as she seems to think.
Amanda Palmer has long been divisive – dedicating poems to bombing suspects, dressing up like a conjoined twin, doing things that make outraged think-piece writers jiggle with glee. Her latest album, however, a collection of folk, blues, country and contemporary covers with her once-estranged 72-year-old dad Jack, strikes the right chord. Sometimes old songs shine a startling light on the present.
Amanda Palmer’s latest project is a collaborative covers album with her 71 year old father Jack. Parted after he left home when she was a year old, Jack and Amanda haven’t always been the closest father and daughter. Their relationship was once strung between infrequent visits during her childhood, and longer periods of absence later in her adolescence.
Amanda Palmer has always been a very assiduous creative figure, intent on exploring art, occasionally confronting both the macabre and the taboo. Following her last studio effort, 2012's Theatre Is Evil, the singer/songwriter has taken a decidedly bittersweet turn, delivering an album of cherished cover songs in a wonderful folk-laced vein recorded with her father, Jack Palmer. Opening the record is the title track and a cover of Leonard Cohen's "You Got Me Singing" -- something that seems an obvious choice as it appears to encapsulate the project for both father and daughter entirely.
Ukulele-toting provocateur Amanda Palmer is all about instinct; if she wants to make a covers album to celebrate her relationship with her father, renewed through a shared love of music, why not? On these songs, chosen for their meaning to the pair, her aim is touchingly true on a sonorous cover of Leonard Cohen’s title track, a rousing father-daughter call-and-response on Richard Thompson’s 1952 Vincent Black Lightning and Palmer’s fragile, touching and timely take on Sinéad O’Connor’s Black Boys on Mopeds. You Got Me Singing is not just a cute fan curio, but an affecting, honest tribute to family and creativity. .