Rosie Carney returns with a new project, an ambitious of rendering of Radiohead’s classic album, The Bends. That’s out in December, but here she teases us with the first single, ‘Bones.’ Like many of us, Carney has been deeply affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, and she left her flat in London and returned to her parents’ house in Ireland. The day before she left London, she recorded ‘Bones,’ which is track 5 on Radiohead’s 1995 album, the one that launched them as serious artists. They had debuted in 1993, with Pablo Honey and its legendary song, ‘Creep.’ Disgusted with their public image, they returned two years later with this towering album, focused on mental health and the creeping feel of late 20th century life.
Carney listened to the album
nonstop as I travelled from my flat in London into the middle of nowhere. Every single line resonated with me on such a deep level and after this one I became far more confident in how I wanted the songs to sound if they were mine.
Upon her return to Ireland, in her old bedroom in her parents’ house, she fell into depression. Carney is no strange to depression, like so many of us, having first tangled with it in the wake of her signing with a major label when she was all of 16, a relationship that did not work out. It was during her treatment with this bout of depression that she came up with the idea of covering ‘Fake Plastic Trees,’ but then she realized that was almost a stereotype, so she refocused herself to take on the album as a whole. I don’t want to harp on mental health issues so much, but given the pandemic, and how many are suffering, perhaps it is worthwhile. But when she was a teenager, she saw Radiohead, or went to see them, and instead blacked out with an anxiety attack. So this is a therapeutic move by her, and a beautiful and poetic example of things coming full circle.
She sketched out most of the album on Garageband, and then got in touch with producer JMAC (whose worked with Haux and Luz), who added violin, viola, cello, drums, horns, woodwind, and vocoder remotely. The result, at least on ‘Bones’ is a haunting and chilling cover. Stripping down the song to guitar, removing the drums and the soaring guitar, her voice is gentle, almost fragile as it floats over the track. This is not so much a cover as a re-imagining of the original, as her voice is layered, and I imagine churches and choirs.
Put simply, this is a beautiful song in Rosie Carney’s hands, and I really look forward to the album in December.