Early Wednesday, news of the death of Gord Downie, the 53-year-old frontman of Canadian rock vets The Tragically Hip, shook Canada and the world beyond. Words of condolence poured from the public, with everyone from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to Canadian-born comedian Seth Rogen expressing their grief.
Later in the day another Canadian, Leslie Feist, took her sadness to Soundcloud, releasing an emotional cover of Downie’s song “The Stranger,” from his 2016 solo record The Secret Path. Feist had been a steadfast supporter of Downie through the years, especially after his cancer diagnosis in 2016. After his initial diagnosis, she released a cover of The Tragically Hip hit track “Flamenco” and described her connection to Downie in an email to the New York Times, writing, “My feelings are big for Gord, as they have been since I first met him 20 years ago. He’s always been a teacher to me for how to fight for the true view in a song and inhabit them with conviction.”
Listen to Feist honor Gord Downie with “The Stranger,” followed by last year’s recording of “Flamenco.”