Nothing stirs the emotions quite like a broken-hearted country song… except maybe for a lush, ’60s style orchestral pop tune! Teenage prodigy and #PMJsearch runner-up Maris makes her debut with the group for this knockout rendition of Dolly Parton’s classic “Jolene” – watch it here:
17-year-old Maris first came to our attention as one of the runners-up in last year’s second #PMJsearch, when the Montana-based singer (then only 16!) submitted a powerhouse cover of Radiohead’s “Creep.” It was immediately obvious that this young vocalist possessed talent far beyond her years, so she was the perfect choice to front PMJ for our romantic, string-drenched take on “Jolene.”
One of Dolly Parton’s earliest hits, “Jolene” spotlights the country icon’s gift for melding plainspoken country balladry with high melodrama – a knack she’d go on to perfect with “I Will Always Love You.” Dolly’s tale of a woman in love pleading with her beautiful rival not to steal her beloved is inherently cinematic, so it was only natural for Scott Bradlee to turn the song into an orchestral lament. PMJ’s version swathes the soaring melody in strings and harp and changing the setting from the Appalachian mountains to Beverly Hills. Maris wrings every ounce of emotion from the song with a wrenchingly dramatic performance, even taking the song briefly back to its country roots when she picks up an acoustic guitar and strums a few unaccompanied line before heading into the surging finale. It’s a striking performance in the moment and only promises greater things for her future.
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