Valerie June Lends Country-Soul Croon to Frank Ocean’s ‘Godspeed’ in New Cover

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valerie-june-covers - Credit: Renata Raksha*
valerie-june-covers - Credit: Renata Raksha*

Valerie June is soulful and stirring as she dives deep into her own rendition of Frank Ocean’s “Godspeed,” the latest release from her newly announced EP Under Cover. The 8-track project, set for release on Aug. 26, will showcase the country-soul crooner’s elasticity for making cross-genre cuts her own.

“This love will keep us through blinding of the eyes,” June sings with conviction. “Silence in the ears, darkness of the mind.”

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Under Cover finds the Tennessee singer-songwriter tackling releases from Mazzy Star (“Fade Into You”), Gillian Welch (“Look at Miss Ohio”), Bob Dylan (“Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here with You”), Joe South (“Don’t It Make You Want to Go Home”), and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (“Into My Arms”).

The project will also host previously released, June-ified renditions of John Lennon’s “Imagine” and Nick Drake’s “Pink Moon,” which both appeared as bonus tracks on the deluxe edition of the singer’s 2021 studio album The Moon and Stars: Prescriptions for Dreamers.

“I know I’m always gonna sound country listening to me talking, but I can sing whatever I want,” June told The Guardian last year. Her knack for melding songs into her own unique tone was carefully shaped as she grew up in church, hearing hundreds of songs pulled from the songbook. “We knew a lot of different tones and textures in the layers of the songs and how to use our voices as an instrument. I think that’s why I hear voices first when I’m making music.”

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