Today, August 20, marks the release of Sean Penn’s new film Flag Day. The soundtrack to the film comprises 13 songs, among them a cover of “I Think of Angels” – originally composed by Icelandic musician KK – as performed by American singer-songwriter Cat Power (Chan Marshall).
Eddie Vedder, Glen Hansard, Cat Power
Flag Day, written by Jez and John-Henry Butterworth (Edge of Tomorrow), premiered at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this summer. The film stars Sean Penn, who also directs the film, and his daughter, Dylan. The film has received mixed reviews. As noted by Pitchfork, the film’s soundtrack features eight songs composed by Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam) and Glen Hansard (The Frames, the Swell Season), in addition to a cover of the Icelandic “I Think of Angels” by Cat Power (Chan Marshall).
“I Think of Angels” was composed by KK and performed in collaboration with his sister, Ellen Kristjánsdóttir. The song pays tribute to the siblings’ late sister, Inger, who died in a car crash in America in 1992. “I Think of Angels” was officially released in 1995 on the album Gleðifólkið. The song is often performed at funerals in Iceland.
“I’m on cloud nine”
In an interview with Mbl.is, KK revealed that the producers of Flag Day reached out to him about two years ago: “I just said Yes, and then there were a few twists along the way, before, finally, it was decided that Cat Power would perform a cover of the song.”
According to KK, Valdís Óskarsdóttir – who edited the film in collaboration with Michelle Tesoro – suggested “I Think of Angels” to Sean Penn, and the director fell for the song immediately. KK is over the moon with Cat Power’s performance, sung an octave lower than the original, which he calls “divine.”
Readers can listen to the song below.