When you’ve had a year like self-described “Latin pop songstress” Gina Chavez has had—with an iTunes chart-topping album, a sweep at the Austin Music Awards at SXSW, and an amazing Tiny Desk Concert for NPR—it’s hard to know how to follow it up. Which makes what Chavez opted to release next a little less surprising, simply because when you’re on top of the world, you can pretty much go anywhere. So why not record a jazzy cover of Iron Butterfly’s “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida”?

In Chavez’s version, the song’s defining organ riff is still present, but it’s buried under the breezy, light treatment of the melody. There’s decidedly less psych/prog heat here, as Chavez delivers a lilting, breathy take on the song’s sparse lyrics (while effortlessly gliding between English and Spanish). Iron Butterfly would still recognize “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” as his composition in Chavez’s rendition, but this cover isn’t as interested in faithfully representing a seventeen-minute epic freakout more than it is interested in interpreting the tune as something for a decidedly different audience. The track is being released as a single with all proceeds benefitting the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, and there’s plenty to like about that, too.

Catch Gina Chavez at her upcoming tour dates:

  • Friday, November 6 in New York @ Bowery Electric
  • Sunday, November 8 in Philadelphia @ Trocadero
  • Monday, November 9 in Washington, DC @ Kennedy Center Millennium Stage
  • Saturday, November 14 in San Antonio, TX @ Hotel Havana

(buy Gina Chavez’s “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” here)