Listen to Lykke Li’s soulful cover of Johnny Cash’s ‘Ring Of Fire’

Aprilia Rine

Listen to Lykke Li’s soulful cover of Johnny Cash’s ‘Ring Of Fire’

Lykke Li has returned with her first new music in two years, in the form of a cover of Johnny Cash’s ‘Ring of Fire’ – listen to the track below. 

The song was recorded for the soundtrack to Damsel, a Netflix dark fantasy film directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, and starring Millie Bobby Brown, Ray Winstone and Angela Bassett. 

Speaking about reinterpreting Cash’s 1963 single, Li told Variety: “To be honest, the only version I’ve ever heard in my whole life is the Johnny Cash version, so I had no real history. I just went into it pretty blank. I sat down at the piano and the first thing that came out of my mouth was what I recorded.” 

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The song was written by June Carter Cash and Merle Kilgore and first recorded by June’s sister Anita Carter. Li has spoken about the specific influence that she has taken from the knowledge that it was Cash’s partner that penned the track. 

“I was very inspired by June Carter,” she explained. “What I read was that she wrote this when they were both married to other people and she was like, shit, I’m about to fall in love and it’s going to blow up and ruin my life. But also there’s no other way.” 

“So there’s this haunting quality that it is to fall in love. It really is like stepping into a ring of fire. And then I think the beauty of the song, what I realized too when you break it down, is that Johnny Cash’s version has tempo and all of those other things. It’s him. It could even be a lullaby. But that goes for every great song. It’s a classic. Timeless.” 

Li’s last album was 2022’s ‘Eyeye’, her fifth studio record. In a four-star review, NME wrote that it was “more of an art-pop mood piece than a home for singles” and “a record that breathes, sighs and will leave you lost in the same dazed revery that these tracks were born from”. 

The artist herself referred to the record as an “attempt to compress a lifetime of romantic obsession and female fantasy into a hyper-sensory landscape” while capturing “the intimacy of listening to a voice memo on a macro dose of LSD”.  

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Li also spoke shortly after its release that she was planning on “reworking” the album to make it “more like an ambient, instrumental, sonic dream”. 

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