Every time I see Zoë Keating perform “Optimist”, it’s with layers of big, bright, rich sounds. It’s beautiful and uplifting.
I fell in love with the song on her album Into The Trees, though. There it is a spare, minimalist, pure thing. It’s still uplifting, but it has two parts where the song stops and slows, for the upbeat portion to rise through and carry on with - like an optimist carrying on despite a setback.
I wonder if Keating ever performs the album version, or if the sumptuous version was her original vision that she lets out on live performances but didn’t think worked on the album.