This Cover Is Perfect
Shelsey Jarvis’ rendition of “Country Roads” deserved to launch a career
It’s been a while since I screamed at the internet about a piece of music. Years ago I was a top writer on Medium for the music tag, and now I’m just some guy lost in a pile of headphones.
But please, please give this a few minutes of your time.
I love everything about this.
I love the slightly lo-fi camera shot combined with perfect high quality audio production. I love that it’s sung through in one take. I love that the vocal track is minimally processed. I love the layered complexity of the backing track, that isn’t just a cheap karaoke track with obvious synth samples.
This is a cover that was produced with extreme care, and yet it generated a criminally low number of views.
Still, its quality was such that I thought surely Shelsey Jarvis is now a professional making money in music. She clearly will have this single, and maybe a couple small albums up for sale and have a small dedicated stream following.
Shelsey Jarvis has no following, and no apparent musical career. And that’s devastating.
She has two singles up on digital stores. She has a small web site with an email newsletter you can sign up for that’s also supposed to contain a free music download…but that function doesn’t actually send you anything. All of her social media accounts have been dead for a couple of years.
Frequently, in our current media society that’s filled beyond the brim with content, being good isn’t enough.
Being great isn’t enough.
You can produce a pristine piece of music and watch other inferior productions of the same track rack up views and sales because they had better marketing, a better camera shot…or because they just got lucky.
I understand that sometimes life gets in the way, and people fade away from creative pursuits because other more important things happen. But there’s few things sadder than when a good talent vanishes without ever having had an audience.
It’s insane that Shelsey Jarvis isn’t working on her third album right now, and if even one of you watched this video above and liked it, that’ll at least help me to sleep a tiny bit better tonight.