Cover versions are tricky. They can be faithful recreations, which has always seemed like photocopying a painting to me, or they can be wildly different such as Johnny Cash dive bar version of Depeche Mode’s ‘Personal Jesus’ or The Gipsy Kings rococo version of ‘Hotel California’. ‘What A Wonderful World’ was originally released in aid of the Specialized charity but was so well received it’s release as a single was assured.

Uncle Kid’s version is a Fisher-Price delight as it utilises the sounds of the nursery to turn it into a childlike fantasy. The original song, written by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss, floats upon a bed of strings as a lush counterpoint to the gravel of Louis Armstrong’s voice. Uncle Kid wraps the track in backwards electronic swooshes, creaks and crackles over flashes of speak-and-spell words and the jingling naivety of a toy piano accompanying the laconic vocal delivery in his Scottish brogue. At the halfway point the track blossoms into a big production number before gently returning to the nursey where it slows to a stop like a music box running down.

Uncle Kid is never knowingly overstated and creates electronic music that tantalises and never jars, with each sound always perfectly placed (I imagine he has the tidiest cupboards in Scotland). On ‘What A Wonderful World’ he has used all the crayons in the packet and coloured in and outside the lines to take a classic song and tease out a delightful version which he has made all his own.

The song’s video was made by Neil Bisset at MonkeyRig Media and it perfectly captures the eerie but captivating feel of the song.

Uncle Kid socials: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Bandcamp | Spotify

Review by Paul F Cook

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