Monday, June 24, 2024

Watch Ethel Cain Sing ‘Bette Davis Eyes’ in Paris

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Artist is mixing up set lists as she promotes her debut album, Preacher’s Daughter

Ethel Cain gave a dramatic rendition of Jackie DeShannon’s and Kim Carnes’ tribute to old Hollywood, “Bette Davis Eyes” during a concert in Paris on Monday. While her band played the music with a muted reserve, Cain writhed barefoot in red gym shorts and a white T-shirt as she sang about “Harlow gold” and Greta Garbo’s “standoff sighs.” The audience at the Trianon ate it up, clapping along with her in concert for the end of the tune.

Cain is ostensibly promoting her debut album, Preacher’s Daughter, but she has been performing unreleased songs on her European tour, according to Stereogum. These include “Dust Bowl,” “Amber Waves,” and “Punish.”


Cain spoke with Rolling Stone last year, discussing her apprehension about performing live — a few days after she collapsed onstage at the Sydney Opera House. “I don’t like performing,” she said. “Maybe someday, if I can figure out a way that I can perform that is better for me, but the standard setup of, ‘Go out, be in front of a bunch of people’ — I don’t like to be in front of a bunch of people. I don’t like to be the center of attention 100 percent.”

In the same article, she also described the direction she hoped to take on the follow-up to Preacher’s Daughter, describing it as dark and cold. The narrative will concern Cain’s mother and she plans on making a third album about her grandmother. “This is going to be 15, 20 years from now,” she said. “I work very slow. That’s how I like it.”

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