Kestrin tells me she loves synchronicites. The day before she sent us her follow up installment to Cello Bound, I’d had a lengthy discussion with a friend about the song Sunday Morning Coming Down. Lo and behold, it’s Kestrin’s latest choice of song; her recording more popish than Kris Kristofferson’s original, but more wistful than the peppy orchestration of Johnny Cash; and more upbeat than the particularly slow and melancholy version by Tex, Don and Charlie I’d been introduced to the day before.
In the original, Kristofferson sings about the minutiae of life – a kid kicking a can, someone frying chicken – like you’re right there on the sleepy city sidewalks with him. Kristofferson wishes, Lord, that he were stoned; to chase away the loneliness of Sunday, to make the hangover easier to bear.
Sunday Morning Coming Down isn’t sung by Kristofferson with the balladic tragedy of Casey’s Last Ride, nor with the sense of simultaneous loss and freedom that makes Me and Bobby McGee such a seminal classic (written by Kristofferson, made famous by Janis Joplin). Instead it’s about loneliness in its simplest form; the way reality makes us squint and shrink back away from its glare as if from a suddenly thrown-back curtain when you’re asleep in a dark room. It’s not that you don’t want to exist anymore – just to pull the sheets over your head to take the edge off. Or in Kristofferson’s case, hit up a joint or two.
For Kestrin it’s more the hangover part that resonates: her recording is both a farewell and a tribute to boozier days and the rough mornings that followed them. In her own words: “This cover serves as a living memorial to my years of getting wasted, an ode to all the hangovers I’ll be missin’.”
Kestrin’s version adds a stomping beat, the rhythmic strum of a guitar, the beautiful slurs of a heartfelt cello, and crystal clear vocals. She gives the song her own spin, her own meaning. If it’s a farewell, it’s not the sort where you stand crying into your handkerchief. It’s the kind of farewell where you look back over your shoulder as you drive away, and you smile.
Each installment of the BOUND project by Kestrin comprises both a photoshoot and a recorded track. This time super-talented Ryan Schude shot the photo series with ’50s motel settings and solo car rides. The images are simultaneously isolated yet optimistic; the perfect visual accompaniment to Kestrin’s track. You can view the rest of the series at the gallery above.
For more about the multi-faceted Kestrin Pantera visit kestrin.com.