Songs off of the Death Valley EP – the early arrangements

Feature Stories | Jun 03, 2017

Today we have some listening for you. Have you ever noticed how much current arrangements of the songs included on the Death Valley EP differ from how LP and her band used to play them? We’re sure you have, especially as there are famous Harvard and Stone Live Sessions available on LP’s YouTube channel, including “Muddy Waters,” “Strange,” and “Lost On You”. But there are some other early performances from 2015/2016 of those songs that are really interesting in terms of their arrangement, conception, and their performance – and this is what we have for you today.

Still frame from the Deezer Sessions video

1. Muddy Waters – live at The Sayers Club (October 16th, 2015)

When it comes to the sound of the instruments, 2015’s version of “Muddy Waters” is way more gentle and soothing than its current version. The track itself is less powerful and low-key. Both guitar and drums are delicate, almost bluesing, and the overall arrangement of the first part is moody and nostalgic. Those deep soul vibes are highlighted mainly by the drums. The darkest part starts from the second chorus, the song gets more raw, it moves closer to the current arrangement. LP’s vocal gets more and more sharp as the song develops, and all other sounds get stronger and sharper too. Early “Muddy Waters” live versions takes you on a journey, from soothing beginning to dramatic end. The current one puts a spell on you at once, from the first sound, it’s so mighty and overpowering.

“Muddy Waters” early version

 

2. Lost On You – Deezer sessions (around Oct, 2016)

There are earlier versions of “Lost On You,” dated as far back as 2015, but we decided to pick the Deezer session. After all, it was recorded prior to her three tours, so kind of early too (ok, it’s a bit far-fetched, but we have an agenda here, so…) We love the Deezer session to bits and this is because of the arrangement, and especially due to the sound of percussion. The deep-sound, well-thought out drums by Matt Mayhall. Starting from around the 1 minute 30 second mark of the performance, his drums get so spacious and rich in sound, that they define the overall mood of this particular “Lost On You.” You can really get lost in what you hear and feel through his performance.

And about this royal character in the middle of the set – she’s OMG here. Here’s what Deezer had to say about her during their session: “If that doesn’t give you an idea of her raw talent, nothing will.” Well, her talent is beyond words anyway (yeah, yeah… a lot of words on this “beyond words” talent on this page, we know…), so let’s leave it at that. Ok, just one thing: she is as close to the album vocal as it gets here. Oh, and she still has that little rattle she luckily gave up before her Lost In Europe tour.

“Lost On You” early version

 

3. Strange – live at Radio 2 Social Club (June 16th, 2016)

Here is “Strange,” from one year back, an absolutely stunning version performed for Italian Radio 2. And it is one of best performances of this song, ever. And, look, she even played the guitar during this song back then! When she begins to sing, the host’s facial expression (at 0:30) says it all. Compared to current performances, this version swings like crazy! Which is mainly thanks to Trevor Menear’s characteristic guitar. Oh, and she looks 18 here, maybe 20. We’d ask for her ID before selling her any tequila.

“Strange” early version

 

4. Death Valley – live at the No Vacancy club (November 17th, 2015)

“Death Valley” hasn’t changed much over the last 1.5 years, and the main difference would be, again, Trevor’s guitar. It’s so different compared to JD’s deep, heart-breaking, Gilmour-like sound. Trevor’s notes are jazzy, kind of happy, almost country, and they give this joyful touch to any song. Here this is not the case, but still “Death Valley” is a bit more cheerful and less rock’n’roll than its 2017 version.

“Death Valley” early version 

(video not available any more)

 

5. Other People – live at The Echo club (March 14th, 2016)

And here’s the moment when Trevor’s energetic sound contrasts a lot with the mood of the song. This “Other People” arrangement is a rarity, very funky and jazzy, and almost completely stripped of all the drama that it has now. What links the music with lyrics is noticeable only through LP’s vocals in Echo performance. Even the percussion is jazzy and it corresponds more with the guitar than with her singing. And in general, “Other People” from Echo is a completely different song compared to the EP version or current live performances.

“Other People” early version