I’ve written about this before, but my big sister is my Beatles hero. Maybe you have one, too — that person who led you to the Liverpudlian water for the first time. When I was in middle school, my sister’s room was covered wall-to-wall with John, Paul, George and Ringo. Posters. Books. My sister draws beautifully and she did these awesome, larger-than-life charcoal illustrations of their faces. I wish I could show you pictures of the whole scene; it was amazing. She led by example, and I’ll never be able to thank her enough for it.

When my sister went to college, my mom/writing hero wrote a book about what it’s like to shepherd a child off to college for the first time. She called it She’s Leaving Home, and the Beatles song it borrowed its name from has held a special place in my heart ever since. (You can, ahem, buy said book here.) So I got really excited yesterday when I was doing some mild Spotify stalking (a certain long-hared, long-bearded Richmond musician listens to THE BEST music, just FYI) and found my new favorite version of “She’s Leaving Home.”

Stevie Wonder’s funkification of the song borders on the ridiculous — or maybe the sacrilegious, I can’t tell which — with talk-boxy backing vocal tracks that harmonize with each other like two mournful robot parents who wake up to find that their robot daughter has flown the robot coop. (Seriously — you have to listen. It’s crazy.) But with Syreeta’s stirring lead performance lighting the way, the whole thing comes together to form a strangely touching take on the song, and I love it a little more every time I listen. See what you think below.

Syreeta — “She’s Leaving Home” [Spotify/iTunes]

3 thoughts on “Syreeta

  1. Nutty, not doubt – but great! I have argued that Stevie basically invented synth pop (with some help from Tonto’s Expanding Head Band), mainly based on this one track, Look Around, which opened Where I’m Coming From, a hidden gem from his catalog that came right before Music Of My Mind: I’m actually not even sure if he had hooked up with Tonto at this point…

    • Wow. I knew nothing about TEHB — that big TONTO rig is crazy!!! And I hadn’t heard “Look Around,” but I really like it. I guess I’ve been using Music of My Mind as a boundary/starting point. Clearly I’ve been missing out!

  2. Pingback: Brian’s Records | You hear that?!?

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