Tom Waits has praised an Indigenous choir’s rendition of his 2004 track ‘Make It Rain’.
The Cairns-based choir, Marliya, along with singer-songwriter Emma Donovan performed the song as part of Spinifex Gum, their collaboration with The Cat Empire’s Felix Riebl and Ollie McGill.
As reported by Music Feeds, the performance that caught Waits’ attention was recorded at the Sydney Opera House last year, and was recently released as part of Spinifex Gum’s digital programming.
Taking to Twitter, Tom Waits praised the Indigenous choir’s “gorgeous” rendition, which was sung in a combination of English and Yindjibarndi.
“An Aboriginal choir hailing from Cairns, Queensland, Spinifex Gum performed this gorgeous rendition of “Make It Rain”, sung partly in the traditional Aboriginal Yindjibarndi language,” he said, while linking to a video uploaded by his official YouTube channel.
Within the video, Donovan revealed that the way she interprets the song is “a lot different to what [she thinks] Tom Waits is singing about.”
“When he does his version, there’s a lot of things, some of the lines in that song, ‘He took all my money and my best friend.’ I go back to things that have been taken from us in community, taken from mob,” she said.
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In other news, while Waits has not released a new album since 2011, he has recently appeared in a number of popular films.
Waits had roles in 2018’s The Ballad of Buster Scruggs and The Old Man & The Gun, as well as last year’s The Dead Don’t Die.
Each film was either critically or commercially successful (if not both), appearing to cement Waits as a truly multi-talented performer.