At the start of her career, as the scheming Maeby Funke on “Arrested Development,” Alia Shawkat sang a completely inappropriate karaoke cover of the 1970s sex jam “Afternoon Delight” with her TV uncle, Jason Bateman. Now, nearly 15 years later, the actress is part of another duet, though this one is a bit more serious. “Blaze and Sybil’s Lullabye” is featured in the new Ethan Hawke-directed film BLAZE, in which Shawkat stars as Sybil Rosen, the partner and muse of the late Austin singer-songwriter Blaze Foley. The acoustic track has Shawkat showing off a jazzy tremble in her voice as she sings of loyalty and love.
Her vocal stylings make sense once you learn that her eclectic taste in music grew out of formative experiences centered largely on jazz, which she learned about from her New Orleanian grandfather. “I was listening to Nat King Cole when I was 14, but also A Tribe Called Quest,” she says over the phone. Now, at 29, she likes playing DJ and setting a mood, so she’s quick to plug in her phone as soon as she jumps in a car or arrives at a friend’s house. She admits that reviews of her impromptu sets have been mixed: “My friends are like, ‘Jesus, this is such a weird mix,’ but I’m like, ‘I don’t think we need to stay in one zone.’ I’m interested in songs going place to place.”
Speaking with Pitchfork about her top three songs of the moment, she refers to screenshots of the tracks playing on Spotify as she goes. “That’s how I share songs now,” she explains. “When I was younger, my friends would burn mixtapes for each other. Now, it’s a screenshot; you text it to someone real quick.”
Read the full article at Pitchfork.