NPR Songs We Love: Nellie McKay, ‘The Nearness Of You’

NPR Music:  “The Nearness of You”  


“The bottom line for McKay, it would seem, is that there’s always another level, a deeper layer…”The Nearness of You” is a veritable jazz standard — composed 80 years ago by Hoagy Carmichael, and recorded since by everybody from Harry James to Norah Jones. The song is invariably performed at a ballad tempo like this one. But McKay brings an odd bittersweetness, and maybe a whiff of sublimated tragedy, to her delivery. Could she be singing to a sense memory, or a ghost? Every possibility seems plausible.”