Dia Frampton and Josh Kaufman (The Voice) take on “Poison & Wine” by the Civil Wars

As a long time fan of Dia Frampton for what seems like my entire childhood/adolescence growing up, this cover with The Voice-tourmate Josh Kaufman is so refreshing to hear. I personally have been in love with this Civil Wars tune for years–as it has become one of my favorites–and I feel their vocal pairing captures the spirit of this song so well.

“Poison & Wine” is one of those sweet and hauntingly beautiful ballads that speaks about the pains of loving when you know you shouldn’t; the idea that loving can both heal and hurt; and when you think you know how one feels, the burdens still hunt you down. It’s not quite about “feeling” love as it is in choosing to love.

The song begins with a slow and steady rhythmic pattern as the male voice (Kaufman) slowly comes in to match it. Holding as a conversation between two souls, the female voice (Frampton) croons in as a reply, offering a lighter, wispier tone that dares make the rather steadier, low tone more angelic.

The two voices begin to croon together in harmonious fashion at the chorus when they say, “Oh I don’t love you, but I always will.” And the song begins and continuously builds and pulls at you.

As the guitar becomes increasingly louder and soars over their voices, Dia beautifully recites, “I wish you’d hold me when I turn my back,” as Josh replies, “The less I give the more I get back.” And when Dia says, “Oh your hands can heal, your hands can bruise,” her voice gently pulls at your soul, creating an astonishingly dissonant and cringeworthy heart tug, as Josh’s voice harmonizes with her at the end of “bruise.”

The song builds more and more harmonious tension, creating a painfully beautiful ballad in which Josh’s warm voice matches Dia’s sweet yet husky tone well. And, their vocal talent and ability to emit emotion is obviously felt here.

Let this song envelop you, and you will see what I mean.

I’ve always wished I could cover this song myself, but I just don’t quite have the natural vocal talent and pairing to do so. But, when I find ones who are able to do this song justice, my heart just soars. And, almost makes me cry. That’s when you know you’re hearing real music: when it hits you, here, here and here–your heart, mind and ears.

Pssst. Anyone else who knows of my terrible flat/foot tan see Dia’s here? Mine is obviously worse but HA! I’m not the only one!


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