Chances are you have seen this adorable IKEA commercial. Well, the song in it is by a lovely British vocalist named Mara Carlyle. I could only vaguely recall a remix she did for Jamie Lidell, so it called for further inspection. Interestingly, I found out that she has done not one, but two great cover versions of Amerie’s “1 Thing”, both of which sadly flew under the radar. I was completely obsessed with the horn-happy, ridiculously addictive original back in 2004, and to this day it remains Amerie’s best work, and Rich Harrison’s second-best production. Mara was able to take the R&B modern classic to unexpected territories. “Piximerie” is an indie-rock-leaning mashup with the Pixies, featured as a b-side for her 2005 single “Baby Bloodheart”. A much more stripped-down take called “Vietnamerie” was on her 2008 EP “Ancient & Modern”. “Vietnamerie” is probably my favorite out of the two, for its spectral, dreamlike vibe.
Apparently, her new record has been in unreleased limbo for quite a while due to conflicts with her label. Hopefully, thanks to those IKEA cats, this will soon be resolved. She’s got a sweet baroque-pop/jazz voice, I’ll be keeping an eye out for her new materials. Get the covers, and the IKEA track “Pianni” after the jump.