‘The Anchor’ by Jerzy Jung

The infectious melody in this song’s chorus grabbed me and stuck with me after only hearing it once.

[audio:http://www.stephenbailey.com/audio/jerzy-jung/03 The Anchor.mp3|titles=The Anchor|artists=Jerzy Jung|autostart=no]

In my years of seeing bands and spewing opinion about them, there’s one thing I’ve come to learn. Sometimes it takes just the tiniest little something to hook me in to a song. Maybe a simple beat or a twist of words or a short melodic passage. Each of my favorite songs has that one certain something that grabs me.

I know, that’s an obvious thing to say. Yet whenever it happens, each time it happens, I’m pleasantly surprised and delighted that it does in fact still happen.

In the case of Jerzy Jung, I realized while seeing her recently at Northern Soul in Hoboken, it’s the melody of the chorus to her beautiful song ‘The Anchor’. I found myself humming along even though I had only heard the song once before. Now that’s a hook.

The song is on her EP ‘Hello Desire’, but I had not had a chance to listen to it yet. When I told her how that hook had stayed with me, she was curious to know how I’d feel about the recorded version. As it turned out, the overall style of the song is different from the way she recorded it to how she performs it live.

When I finally got a chance to sit and listen to the EP, I could see what she meant. The recorded version is filled with subtle electronic rhythms, atmospheric keyboard sounds and sparse guitars set out under her amazing voice. The live version is more straight ahead, soulful and raw. But that incredible hook is there in both.

I suspected that the catalyst for change was the result of simple necessity. After all, it’s far easier to rework a song to its simplest form than to try to recreate the bells and whistles of a studio on stage. However, Jerzy described it to me as more like evolution.

She said that is just how the song had grown over time. I don’t know which version grew out of which. Perhaps one was from a certain time in her musical taste and the other from another. All creative types go thru periods like that.

  • Elvis Costello went country
  • Neil Young went techno
  • David Bowie went soul
  • Bob Dylan recently went … whatever he went

Or maybe Jerzy simply changed her.

Whatever the answer is, the results are the same. Both versions of this powerful song affect me deeply and equally. And if there is to be more versions, it’s safe to say they would affect me the same, too. Because, at its center, it is simply a great song.

Here is a video of a live, acoustic performance at Espresso Joe’s in Keyport, NJ.

See Also:
Jerzy Jung (facebook)
Jerzy Jung (myspace)
Jerzy Jung (twitter)
Northern Soul
Espresso Joe’s

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