For its WaMu rebranding campaign in Calfornia, JPMorgan Chase was looking for a tidal wave of optimism; the bank had never dipped a toe into the Golden State before, and its enormous new acquisition was, technically speaking, the largest bank failure in U.S. history.
Charged with this daunting brief and a request for an iconic song a la "I'm Free" by the Rolling Stones, McGarryBowen's director of music production, Jerry Krenach, settled on John Lennon's "Instant Karma!" With its bombastic chorus of "We all shine on" and Phil Spector's famous "Wall of Sound" production, the 1970 hit was a relatively straightforward choice.
Much harder to comprehend is the artist Krenach chose to sing it: Peter Murphy, who led Bauhaus, the original goth band in the late '70s. With the spot now airing, the singer of "Bela Lugosi's Dead" and the "Godfather of Goth" is the voice of Chase's push into California.
"It's a cool way to go," Krenach told Songs for Soap. "It's an interesting voice in there that has a great texture, and I wanted to do the song right. I wanted a new version to exist that I could feel good about and get chills from."
The producer says he didn't initially have Murphy in mind; the suggestion came from David Baron, the arranger of the track, who is currently producing the former Bauhaus singer's next record. Murphy's fans may not instantly recognize his voice either, as it's fairly deep in the mix, which seems to reinforce Krenach's overriding goal for the song, to simply make "the best track that we could."
And yes, he means "track" in the traditional sense. The "Instant Karma!" cover was recorded as a fully fleshed-out song and may be released as such in the near future, perhaps on Murphy's upcoming album.
"Whether it'll be on the record or an independent single is all being decided right now," Krenach says. "I'm not sure how it's gonna see the light of day as released track, but I'm sure it will."
As part of a broader, nationwide Chase campaign running concurrently, Krenach also produced a cover of Eddie Floyd's 1966 hit "Knock on Wood" with newcomer Ryan Shaw backed up by The Dap-Kings, Daptone Records' house band and Sharon Jones' full-time group. Another spot, set to launch early next month, will feature the original album version of Michelle Branch's 2001 hit "Everywhere."