Each week, as I go through my RSS feeds, Twitter, email, and other mediums through which I find cool stuff, I come across things that I’ll open up in my browser but forget about. They may sit in an open tab for days, but at some point a mental alarm goes off and I think, “Well, I haven’t read that yet. Time to close it and forget about it.”

That happened a week ago with the freaky music item of the week, a slowed down version of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” that people were buzzing about. It sat in a browser tab for at least four days. But each time I came across it again, I decided I didn’t have four minutes to sit and listen to it. Thus, as happens too often, I closed it and forgot about it.


Tim Carmody is guest blogging at Kottke this week. He reposted the “Jolene” audio along with the science behind adjusting the speed of a song and keeping it in tune. Then, he added several songs that he adjusted just to prove the math. I finally listened to “Jolene,” and it’s jarring. I don’t know if it’s good, but it’s pretty interesting to listen to.

(Non-footnoted aside: like most boys who grew up in the 70s, while I have no great affection for Dolly Parton’s music, a significant portion of my early joking career involved Ms. Parton. Thus she’s deep in my pop-cultural DNA. Plus, The White Stripes ripped this track up, so while I’ve heard the original less than 10 times, I’ve still heard a version of the song many times over the years.)

What’s really amazing are Carmody’s slowed down versions of Prince’s “I Wanna Be Your Lover” and Mazzy Star’s “Fade Into You.” And then, if you jump over to his Soundcloud page, he has much more.

These aren’t revolutionary re-workings of famous songs, versions you’ll want to listen to over-and-over again like the originals. But it’s a cool way to make your brain listen to familiar songs in a brand new way.

How To Make Your Own Slow Jams