While Carlile’s voice is quite different from Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner’s, the latter’s version of the song is still faithful to the original’s emphatic emotion. Instead of the pummeling electric guitars that mark the climax in Carlile’s version, Zauner enlists a string section to back her acoustic guitar, giving the song a milder feel.
“It was a joy to take on the iconic ballad, ‘The Story,’” Michelle Zauner said in a statement. “I think the song captures the depths of human tenacity and the spirit of the journey so well. We wanted to keep our rendition sparse and acoustic. A beautiful string arrangement written by Craig Hendrix and performed by our violinist, Molly Germer, and Quartet 121 soars in to sweep you up to the mountains.”
Especially considering The North Face’s “It’s More Than a Jacket” campaign is intended to emphasize outdoor enthusiasts’ deep love of nature, the “mountain tops” and “ocean blue” Zauner sings of in “The Story” feel particularly appropriate. Listen to Japanese Breakfast cover the song below.
In July, Zauner shared a Korean version “Be Sweet,” a single from her great 2021 album Jubilee. She’s currently in the midst of a world tour; read our recap of her New York City show with Yeah Yeah Yeahs here, and then grab tickets for remaining dates via Ticketmaster.
As for Carlile, she recently shared an acoustic version of her 2021 album In These Silent Days called In the Canyon Haze. She’s also on the road right now, and you can get tickets for her shows at Ticketmaster, too.