Published Feb 24, 2010With his enigmatic persona, high-profile collaborations and uncanny ability to mix critical acclaim with commercial success, Jack White is the closest thing this generation has to a rock god. And if Jack is top dog, that makes his wife, Karen Elson, first lady.
Before marrying Jack, she was known primarily as a model, winning Model of the Year at the 1998 VH1 Fashion Awards. Her husband has now granted her access to the music industry, and in 2006 she duetted with Cat Power on an anglicized cover of the Serge Gainsbourg song "I Love You (Me Either)." Then, last year, Jack's Third Man Records released the single "I Like My Mice (Dead)" by a band called Mildred and the Mice. And although the rumours were never confirmed, it was widely reported that "Mildred" was actually Elson.
Now, Elson is gearing up for her first official solo release under her own name. Her MySpace page reveals that she will be issuing her debut album this summer. The collection was recorded at her husband's Third Man Studios and features 11 original songs, all written by Elson.
You can't hear any of the studio-recorded tracks yet, but you can preview an acoustic take of "The Ghost Who Walks." Check out the video of the haunting performance below, which features Elson standing in front of four backing musicians who don't actually play anything. It's creepy stuff, just what you'd expect from a woman who looks like this. Or you can download the song at Elson's website here.
Even though all of the songs were written by Elson, it's clear Jack is exerting a strong influence; her website uses the same font as Jack's Third Man Records homepage, not to mention the fact that her backing musicians are dressed like White Stripes roadies. The album will be released on - surprise, surprise - Third Man/XL.