Franz Ferdinand lead singer Alex Kapranos and acclaimed French chanteuse Clara Luciani have come together to conjure up their own place to escape to, as they tackle the Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood classic “Summer Wine”.
Recorded separately during lockdown (half in Scotland, half in France), this dreamy take on the song presents wide-open plains with gentle twangs of Americana and country. Guitar chords quiver in a pedal steel fashion that are half standing for quickdraw and half taking in the setting sun over the desert. The bilingual vocals from Kapranos and Luciani add a continental spark too, and as they dance about each in an empty make-shift karaoke stage in the song’s video, they lean into the cheesy back-and-forth theatrics of it all. Maybe those long gazes into each other’s eyes signify true love, or maybe it’s a fleeting encounter in a karaoke bar; the passport peeking out of Kapranos’ top pocket certainly suggests he’s about to make a swift exit.
Talking of the track and it’s accompanying video, Kapranos says: “Back in October, Clara asked me to join her on stage at the Olympia in Paris, where we first sang ‘Summer Wine’ together. We are both big fans of Lee and Nancy, and enjoyed the interaction that the song allows you. Clara translated the chorus into French, and the performance is bilingual, which really suits the song.
“When the lockdown started, we decided to record it – more for ourselves than anything else. We wanted to create the atmosphere of an imaginary world away from the confinement we were experiencing. Not that we were unhappy, but the imagination is the greatest medium for escape and adventure. It was recorded at my place in Scotland and mixed by our friends Antoine and Pierre at Motorbass studio in Paris. When we played it to our labels they suggested we release it, so here it is.”