Ben Gibbard Spearheads Yoko Ono Tribute Album Arriving On Her 89th Birthday

Canvasback Music / Atlantic Records have announced a new album celebrating the work of multimedia artist, singer, songwriter, and activist Yoko Ono. Ocean Child: Songs of Yoko Ono arrives Friday, February 18th, 2022 (coinciding with the artist’s 89th birthday).

Imagined and curated by Benjamin Gibbard (lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter of Death Cab for Cutie), Ocean Child: Songs of Yoko Ono is comprised of 14 all-new versions of Ono’s tracks performed by a diverse range of artists including David Byrne and Yo La Tengo, whose collaborative cover of “Who Has Seen The Wind?” is out now alongside an official lyric video.

Other contributors to the album include longtime devotees Deerhoof and The Flaming Lips, both of whom, like Yo La Tengo, have enjoyed previous collaborations with Ono. Also featured are brand new performances from Sharon Van Etten, Death Cab for Cutie, US Girls, Japanese Breakfast, Jay Som, Stephin Merritt (of Magnetic Fields), Thao, Sudan Archives, We Are KING, and Amber Coffman.

A portion of the proceeds from this album will be donated to WhyHunger, a non-profit organization that Yoko Ono has supported for decades in their efforts to “transform our food system by building social justice and striking at the root causes of hunger and poverty”.

Of Yoko Ono’s legacy, project curator Benjamin Gibbard comments:

Yoko makes art that teaches all of us that peace is possible.

Ocean Child: Songs of Yoko Ono was born out of both love and frustration. The ‘love’ part is pretty obvious; It is the seemingly bottomless well of inspiration and enjoyment Yoko Ono’s music has provided me and I must assume everyone else present here on this compilation. The ‘frustration’ part, on the other hand, goes back decades. 

As an advocate, the tallest hurdle to clear has always been the public’s ignorance as to the breadth of Yoko’s work.  To put it into context; This is an artist whose output has run the gamut from avant-garde to bubblegum pop, often across a single album. For years, it has been my position that her songwriting has been criminally overlooked. She has consistently created melodies as memorable as those of best pop writers. As a lyricist, she has always written with poignance, sophistication and deep introspection.  

Some of her best songs have been covered and compiled here by a generation-spanning group of musicians for whom her work has meant so much. It is my sincere hope that a new crop of Yoko Ono fans fall in love with her songwriting due in some small part to this album we have put together.”

Ocean Child: Songs of Yoko Ono will be accompanied by an exclusive podcast, hosted by Gibbard and veteran music journalist Jenny Eliscu, and featuring in-depth discussions of Ono’s music and legacy with many of the artists featured on the new album.

1. Toyboat – Sharon Van Etten
2. Who Has Seen The Wind? – David Byrne and Yo La Tengo
3. Dogtown – Sudan Archives
4. Waiting For The Sunrise – Death Cab for Cutie
5. Yellow Girl (Stand For Life) – Thao
6. Born In A Prison – US Girls
7. Growing Pain – Jay Som
8. Listen, The Snow Is Falling – Stephin Merritt (of Magnetic Fields)
9. No No No – Deerhoof
10. Don’t Be Scared – We Are KING
11. Mrs. Lennon – The Flaming Lips
12. No One Sees Me Like You Do – Japanese Breakfast
13. There Is No Goodbye Between Us – Yo La Tengo
14. Run Run Run – Amber Coffman

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