Holly Herndon has released a new cover of Dolly Parton’s classic ballad “Jolene,” recorded with artificial intelligence. The AI cover was created with Herndon’s deepfake “twin” Holly+, which allows other people to sing in the electronic composer’s voice. In this instance, a modified score of “Jolene,” comprised of new harmonies, was fed to Holly+ and then generated in Herndon’s voice. Accompanying the voice is Ryan Norris on guitar. Listen below.
The track arrives with a new music video directed by the digital artist Sam Rolfes. For the visual, Rolfes used motion-capture technology to animate a 3D model of Herndon, which swivels around in a desk chair before standing up to sing. The entire performance takes place in a glitchy pastoral world filled with old trucks and farm houses. Check it out below.
Herndon’s latest album, Proto, was released in May 2019. In July 2021, she announced Holly+ with an interactive website that allowed users to process their own audio files with the vocal model. Earlier this year, Herndon and her partner Mat Dryhurst launched Spawning, an organization dedicated to “building tools for artist ownership of their training data.” Their first project, haveibeentrained.com, debuted in September.
Read Pitchfork’s feature “Will AI Lead to New Creative Frontiers, or Take the Pleasure Out of Music?”
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