Song of the Week: Ambulette - If You Go Away
Something a little different this week since a) nobody actually reads this which leads us to b) who fucking cares? “If You Go Away” is actually somewhat of a cover of a cover. The song was originally written in French by Belgian Jacques Brel under the title “Ne me quitte pas” (“Don’t Leave Me”). The English version based on “Ne me quitte pas” was written by Rod McKuen. The song has been recorded by Neil Diamond, Frank Sinatra, Tom Jones, Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, among many others. All of this you may know.
What Ambulette is able to bring to their version of the song that the other legendary artists weren’t (all of which I listened to) is a haunting weight to the despair. And it really isn’t fair because Ambulette is armed with the gently wailing apparition that is Maura Davis (Denali, Glös). Her voice glides through and hits you with such honest sadness that it feels as if she wrote the song herself. As Maura strums through the first few versus on her own the rest of Ambulette quietly starts their crescendo adding a certain heaviness (of the indie rock variety) to “If You Go Away.” A few “Oooooo’s” and “Whoa’s” to close the song out and you’re left with a penetrating plea that would be pretty hard to turn away from if she was on your dimly lit porch singing it straight to you. Unfortunately, Ambulette (originally dubbed Bella Lea) had a very short existence only releasing one EP, The Lottery, with Astralwerks.
Essential Song (probably because it’s the very song I’m talking about):
Fun facts: Poison the Well’s song “For a Bandaged Iris” is about Maura’s voice. She is the sister of Engine Down vocalist/guitarist Keeley Davis. The two have collaborated on a few different projects which brings me to this:
Some other sweet as shit song Maura sings on: