Angus and Julia Stone
recorded a more polished, yet still raggedly haunting version of "The Hanging Tree"
from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Pt. 1
. Fans of the movie loved Jennifer Lawrence's version, when the movie came out it reached No. 12 in it's first week on Billboard's Hot 100, but the new version by the brother-and-sister duo surpasses the original's sparse arrangement. To be fair, Lawrence wasn't officially entering the competition. She's admitted that she hates to sing in front of people, and that she even cried on set the day that scene was filmed. J Law probably would have preferred they used the Stone's version in the film and spared her the frustration all together.
Like the first, Angus and Julia Stone's version starts with female vocals, singing the eerie lines, "Are you, are you, coming to the tree?/They strung up a man they say who murdered three." The folk duo add the creeping rhythm of a plucked guitar, a shuffling drum beat, and the warbling sound of what might be a didgeridoo
—after all, they are from Australia. It all adds up to an amazing sound, sinister and unsettling in the best way possible.
For more beautiful folk expression, check out our session with the Stones at Rockwood Music Hall: