“Govindam,” otherwise originally known as a song of worship for Krishna, a Hindu deity. Not exactly the type of song one would imagine finding at the end of a cover album with other songs by artists such as Frank Ocean and the Bee Gees – though those two vary quite a bit in themselves.
However, throughout all of these covers there is an indie flare, soothing the listener in a familiar yet varying lull. For those not acquainted with listening to any sort of music in another language (Sanskrit, in this case), this particular song might seem to break from those traditional sounds, but as someone who has listened to Japanese and French music on occasion in her spare time, it was not quite as off-putting as it might’ve been otherwise. Still, the slow-jam effect of the tune with the almost iridescent voice of Flo Morrissey unmistakably matches the rest of the tone of the album itself.
The most popular version of the original “Govindam” song is that by the former Beatles member George Harrison with the Radha Krishna Temple, and some of the other covers within Gentlewoman, Ruby man resemble the familiar guitar strums and soothing sounds of The Beatles music – with that similar indie twist we still hear in the cover of “Govindam.” In the same way George Harrison brought about his own sounds to the traditional Sanskrit hymn, so too did Flo Morrisey and Matthew E. White.
While the lyrics to every song don’t exactly have a specific connection, the two artists have said that for this album they simply went with what “felt” right out of hundreds of songs, which also explains why they went with something so seemingly different than the rest. While listening to this song, that feeling resonates with me too, giving off a warmth even with the quickening beat – I even found myself swaying along while listening. It’s as if the music, with its repetition and soothing sounds, is putting you and your body into a trance.
In the case of listening to “Govindam,” as with most things in life, I would say don’t knock it ‘til you try it. Check it out through Spotify!
– Kerrisa Drouillard