Oct 072015

Welcome to Cover Me Q&A, where we take your questions about cover songs and answer them to the best of our ability.

Here at Cover Me Q&A, we’ll be taking questions about cover songs and giving as many different answers as we can. This will give us a chance to hold forth on covers we might not otherwise get to talk about, to give Cover Me readers a chance to learn more about individual staffers’ tastes and writing styles, and to provide an opportunity for some back-and-forth, as we’ll be taking requests (learn how to do so at feature’s end).

Today’s question, from Cover Me staffer Raphael Camara: What’s a cover song you like by an artist you dislike?
Continue reading »

Oct 072015
Milk Carton Kids

The folk duo of Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan, better known as The Milk Carton Kids, have made a name for themselves with their Simon & Garfunkel-style harmonies and stellar acoustic guitar work. It’s not exactly the recipe you would imagine for a Pink Floyd cover, but in actuality Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” is perfectly suited to The Milk Carton Kids’ M.O. Continue reading »

Oct 062015
summer wine2

About 45 minutes north of Dallas, Texas on I-35E is the city of Denton.  Besides being the birthplace of Sly Stone, it is also home to the University of North Texas (go Eagles!), which had such alumni as Don Henley, Norah Jones, Pat Boone, Roy Orbison and Meat Loaf. (The bands Deep Blue Something and Bowling For Soup also hail from Denton.)

Denton is also home of two up-and-coming artists that got together for a recent cover. Continue reading »

Oct 052015

A few weeks ago, I was listening to the local “oldies” station and Tears for Fears‘ “Head Over Heels” came on. I immediately started ranting to my wife that the song is not that old and does not belong on such a station.

She then asked, “Honey, how old were you when this song came out and how old are you now?” My mind started doing the math and it hit me. That song is now 30 years old! (As if I wasn’t feeling old enough already.)

An electronic duo from Boston realized the significance of the 30th anniversary of this Tears for Fears classic. ColorGrave consists of  classically-trained vocalist Thomas Morris and producer Robert Wu. Earlier this year, they gained quite a few fans with their single, “Fever Dreams”, but their cover of “Head Over Heels” is sure to make people take notice.

Rob said that he always loved Tear for Fears, especially this song because of “the melody, abnormal chord structure and production.”  He continued, “I have very fond memories of looping this song over and over in my portable cassette player when I was a little kid.”

While Thomas could definitely pull off the vocals on his own, Rob decided to ask his longtime friend, Nicole Dessingue, to help out.  (He calls it his “vocal dream team”.)  Currently, Nicole is in a project with DJ L’Duke called ORCHIDS, but she jumped at the chance to sing this song with ColorGrave.  “I was a synth player in a band…that covered that song live, and it’s always been my favorite, but this was my first opportunity to add my own spin to it.”  (As a side note, the first time I ever heard Nicole sing was when I found ORCHIDS cover of A Great Big World’s “Say Something” earlier this year on YouTube.  WOW!). Having two people singing the different verses of this song works so well.  It’s almost as if the song were written that way to begin with.

As for the music, Rob said that they “wanted to stay true to the simplicity of the instrumentation yet modernize the sounds.” And yet, he admits that he left the track under-produced to “let the great songwriting and melodies shine through.”

And I’m glad he did.

Find out more from ColorGrave on Facebook. ORCHIDS can also be found on Facebook.

Oct 052015
fontaines new

The Fontaines are a brother-sister duo – Charlotte and Hank – who live in LA and are inspired by Lesley Gore and Peggy Lee, so it’s not surprising they’d be Lana Del Rey fans as well. And on their new cover of “Young and Beautiful”, which we’re happy to premiere below, they do the former Ms. Lizzie Grant justice. Continue reading »

Oct 022015

Full Albums features covers of every track off a classic album. Got an idea for a future pick? Leave a note in the comments!


Empire Burlesque is Bob Dylan’s best country album since New Morning. Or, well, it should have been. Instead, it is considered a nadir of his career.

All the previous Full Albums selections we’ve done for Bob have been undisputed classics: Highway 61 Revisited, Blonde on Blonde, John Wesley Harding. Empire Burlesque is the opposite. Bob reportedly asked his producer to make him sound like Prince for this 1985 album. Now, his voice is as far from Prince as you can get, so they surrounded his rasp with drum machines, synthesizers, and chirpy backing vocals. Needless to say, it sounds nothing like Prince, and not a lot like Dylan. I’ve always defended this album, but if you can’t stand Men At Work or Culture Club, this may not be the album for you. Continue reading »

Oct 022015

Though you may never have heard of her, Christine and the Queens are huge in France. Her debut album went to #2 last year, her music videos have millions of views, and, judging from poking around YouTube, she’s performed on every French TV show there is. Now, like so many artists before her that have to assure doubters “I’m big in [any country that’s not America]”, she’s trying to break stateside. And she’ll probably do it.

A new version of her debut album is being released in the States, with appearances by Perfume Genius and Tunji Ige. And, in an almost too-perfect metaphor for bridging the cultural divide, one track combines a cover of Kanye West‘s “Heartless” with a cover of “Les Paradis Perdus” by an older French star, Christophe. Continue reading »

Oct 022015
chris cornell

I can hear you now.  “You dolt!  How do you not know that Prince wrote ‘Nothing Compares 2 U?’  You write for a music blog, for crying out loud!”

The thing is, I know the history of the song. I know that he wrote the song for The Family’s 1985 debut album.  (The “2 U” is a dead giveaway.)  I guess I just believe in giving credit where credit is due.  And while I do not mean to disrespect Prince in any way, let’s face it, the masses did not know of this song until Sinéad O’Connor recorded her platinum-selling single, which went to #1 in nearly every country in 1990.  It was “The Bald One” – not “The Purple One” – that made the song the third biggest hit of that year, the 82nd biggest hit of the decade and, according to Rolling Stone magazine, #162 on the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Continue reading »