Listen: Thumbscrew covers “Scarlet Ribbons”
Thumbscrew’s cover of “Scarlet Ribbons”—a standard written by Evelyn Danzig and popularized by Harry Belafonte’s totally tender version—has us under its spell. The song shares the story of a parent who hears their child pray for a present of scarlet ribbons; they look everywhere for the gift, fret over their inability to find it, and then are stunned to see those cherished scarlet ribbons beside the kid the next day. Mary Halvorson, Tomas Fujiwara, and Michael Formanek perfectly render the song’s emotional arc—the sincerity of the wish and the hypnagogic feeling of falling asleep; the restless anxiety of the hunt; the sweet relief of the final sight. We’re going to request this at Big Ears 2019.