The word “original” is oft (too oft?) used to describe music and artists, but I believe it’s an accurate descriptor in the case of Eliza Rickman.

Her love of miniature instruments (e.g., toy pianos, ukulele), paired with her fantastically clear upper range, are what make Eliza Rickman a true standout.

I first heard her song Pretty Little Head on episode 45 of the Welcome to Night Vale podcast and, while the amount of miniature instrumentation in this particular track was minimal, her vocal clarity hooked me in, and I was completely sold when she finished the song with an a capella chorus.

Carrying your performance without a band is, IMHO, a pretty good indicator of vocal strength.

Shortly after the death of David Bowie, I learned that Eliza would be including a cover of Let’s Dance on her upcoming cover album, to be titled The Fire Went Wild (think Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire, another song covered on the album).

The photography for the album art will feature a toy piano on fire. Of course.

As I’ve mentioned before, covers sufficiently different from the original tend to stand out as their own performances, and this is definitely one of those cases.

Bowie’s full instrumentation, effects, layered vocals, and general ’80s bigness couldn’t contrast more completely with Eliza’s version.

Now granted, Eliza’s is a live performance at a small venue in L.A., but I’ll bet a shiny nickel that the studio performance won’t be gussied up with too much more in the way of frills when we hear it on a future date to be announced.