I’ve been hooked on Deer Fellow since hearing Matt and Alyssa’s sweet harmonies in their song “Runaround.” The duo breathe new life into the cover of Amy Winehouses’ “He Can Only Hold Her” in a feathery and comforting rendition.
“He Can Only Hold Her” has a family tree blooming with musical gems. Amy Winehouse’s 2006 album Back to Black buries its roots deep into musical history. The song “He Can Only Hold Her” incorporates references to R&B duo the Icemen. While that group’s name might not ring a bell, certainly the guitarist on the Iceman’s track does: Jimi Hendrix. With so many hidden musical treasures surrounding Amy Winehouse’s work, I am so happy to see Deer Fellow put their own spin on this beautiful work and add more complexity to the history of the piece.
Deer Fellow softens up Winehouse’s signature spunk with their feathery vocals, sweet violin, percussive guitar, and drop in the key. Replacing the horns that line the vocals of Winehouse with Alyssa’s violin and adding reverberating guitar strumming, the song snuggles in nicely with the rest of Deer Fellow’s comforting creations.
The two recorded this in a closet during quarantining this past year but have been performing it on tour for years. The duo says, “We put a unique spin on it to make it our own, adding violin and an overall fresh feel to the music.” Their hand-crafted indie and soul sound add a beautiful audible texture and complexity to the sweet melody. The song feels like a warm cup of coffee that ignites a cold soul. Make sure to stream “He Can Only Hold Her” by Deer Fellow.
Written by Brigid McCormack