Alessia Cara | Valerie (Amy Winehouse Cover)
Alessia Cara’s single “Here” is already on my list of ‘Best Songs So Far …’ this year, and if you haven’t heard that one yet you can hear her intimate and stripped-down version of Amy Winehouse’s “Valerie”. Sure, the song was originally written and performed by The Zutons, off their album Tired of Hanging Around (2006), but many will most-likely remember it as a song featuring the late singer-songwriter, which appeared on Mark Ronson’s Version (2007). It’s a bold move to from Cara, defining a kind of natural lineage in trying her hand at a song associated with a singer whose inimitable voice gilded notes into utterances and jazzy bends more often than singing songs straight out. Sure, the jazz quality is muted without electric guitar, a horns section, and drummer — but there’s a beauty to this version, in part because it sounds so heartfelt, paying a quiet soulful homage as equally as it puts Cara’s own stamp on the song, which has always sounded as Motown as Barry Gordy to me. Follow Alessia Cara on twitter. — David D. Robbins Jr.