Ben Gibbard curates Yoko Ono tribute compilation featuring David Byrne, Sharon Van Etten and more

'Ocean Child: Songs of Yoko Ono' will be released in February

Death Cab For Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard has curated a new album that celebrates the work of artist, musician and activist Yoko Ono.

‘Ocean Child: Songs of Yoko Ono’ will be released on February 18 and features 14 new versions of Ono’s tracks performed by a range of artists, including David Byrne and Yo La Tengo who take on a collaborative cover of ‘Who Has Seen The Wind?’. Listen to the track below.

Elsewhere on the album are covers by Deerhoof and The Flaming Lips, who have both previously collaborated with Ono, plus contributions from Sharon Van Etten, Japanese Breakfast, Jay Som and more.


Speaking of the new album, Gibbard said: “Yoko makes art that teaches all of us that peace is possible. [‘Ocean Child: Songs of Yoko Ono’] was born out of both love and frustration.

“The ‘love’ part is pretty obvious; It is the seemingly bottomless well of inspiration and enjoyment Yoko Ono’s music has provided me and I must assume everyone else present here on this compilation. The ‘frustration’ part, on the other hand, goes back decades.”

He continued: “As an advocate, the tallest hurdle to clear has always been the public’s ignorance as to the breadth of Yoko’s work. To put it into context; This is an artist whose output has run the gamut from avant-garde to bubblegum pop, often across a single album.

“Some of her best songs have been covered and compiled here by a generation-spanning group of musicians for whom her work has meant so much. It is my sincere hope that a new crop of Yoko Ono fans fall in love with her songwriting due in some small part to this album we have put together.”

The album will also be accompanied by a podcast hosted by Gibbard and music journalist Jenny Eliscu, which features in-depth discussions of Ono’s music and legacy. Songs of Yoko Ono will premiere via all podcast providers – listen to the official trailer below.


‘Ocean Child: Songs of Yoko Ono’ will be released on February 18 via Canvasback Music / Atlantic Records, and a portion of all proceeds will be donated to WhyHunger. Ono has supported the non-profit organisation and their efforts in fighting hunger and poverty for decades. Pre-order the album from here.

‘Ocean Child: Songs of Yoko Ono’ tracklist:

1. Sharon Van Etten – ‘Toyboat’
2. David Byrne And Yo La Tengo – ‘Who Has Seen The Wind’
3. Sudan Archives – ‘Dogtown’
4. Death Cab For Cutie – ‘Waiting For The Sunrise’
5. Thao – ‘Yellow Girl (Stand For Life)’
6. US Girls – ‘Born In A Prison’
7. Jay Som – ‘Growing Pain’
8. Stephin Merritt (of Magnetic Fields) – ‘Listen, The Snow Is Falling’
9. Deerhoof – ‘No No No’
10. We Are KING – ‘Don’t Be Scared’
11. The Flaming Lips – ‘Mrs Lennon’
12. Japanese Breakfast – ‘No One Sees Me Like You Do’
13. Yo La Tengo – ‘There Is No Goodbye Between Us’
14. Amber Coffman – ‘Run Run Run’

In other Yoko Ono news, her 1971 track ‘Listen, The Snow Is Falling’ was made available on all streaming platforms for the first time last month. The track was originally released as the B-side to John Lennon’s iconic ‘Happy Xmas (War Is Over)’ and features Lennon on guitar.

In November, Ono shared an article titled ‘Beatles Fans Think Get Back Dispels The Idea That Yoko Ono Broke The Band Up’.

Peter Jackson’s Beatles documentary shows Ono apart from The Beatles during the recording sessions for ‘Let It Be’ and busying herself with her own tasks, contrary to reports that she was involved while they were making the album.