Singer-songwriter Allison Russell will release her debut solo album in 2021. But before any details of that project emerge, the Birds of Chicago and Our Native Daughters member has offered fresh, moving covers of Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide” and Sade’s “By Your Side.”
Russell, who grew up in Montreal but now resides in Nashville, sings “Landslide” in her native language of French. “I was terrified to touch this song at first,” Russell said of her rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s 1975 ballad. “It is such an iconic classic and has been covered by so many. But then I thought: what would Stevie Nicks do? If she hadn’t written it, she’d find a way to make it her own.”
Russell was inspired to record a cover of Sade’s “By Your Side,” off 2000’s Lovers Rock, after finding herself singing it to her daughter as a lullaby. She described the composition as “an endlessly expansive and inclusive song of love.”
“It could be the love between lovers, the love of a parent for a child, the love for an elder who is not long for this world,” Russell continued. “It feels like it has always existed and always will. It feels like an expression of our collective unconscious. It comforts me and invokes a melancholy yearning all at once.”
Russell tweeted that the Fleetwood Mac and Sade interpretations are the first two of four covers she plans on releasing.
Last fall, Russell released the audio recording of a speech on race, identity, and the power of voting that she had written in the weeks leading up to the 2020 election.