YouTube is filled with amateur cover “artists.” Most stink. On the ‘Tube extracts the exceptions.
On NBC’s The Voice, Blake Shelton picked Dia Frampton after she had been singing for four seconds. Four seconds. It’s no wonder. The 23 year old singer songwriter from Utah has a talent and versatility that somehow manages to coexist with her quietly powerful style.
The Voice may end up being Frampton’s big break, but she’s been a star of the internet music scene for years in the acoustic-duo-turned-full-band she started with her sister, Meg. Fittingly, they go by Meg & Dia. Recently, though, Dia has been blowing up the band’s YouTube channel with her own solo covers and we’re all lucky for it.
The charm of her covers can perhaps be best seen in contrast to Meg & Dia’s “Ignition (Remix)” cover from last year. Like so many indie takes on pop and R&B songs, it proved a bit of a novelty cover, somewhat gimmicky, but still unexpectedly earnest. That realness is a huge part of Dia’s talent and is made all the more crisp and clear when she takes on songs meant to be approached with some seriousness – you know, songs about feelings and stuff, devoid of lines like “Sippin’ on Coke and rum, I’m like, ‘So what, I’m drunk.’”
Her most recent cover is of Adele’s “Someone Like You.” It’s all the rage to cover Adele these days, but it’s rare to see a cover that gives her original a run for its money. That, however, is exactly what we find here. Some of Dia’s covers are low-key tracks, but this one gives her the chance to show precisely why she’s doing so well on a show called “The Voice.” Because she’s got a damn powerful one.
She replaces the bongo-percussion and bassiness of Ingrid Michaelson’s “The Way I Am” with her own piano stylings and attacks the rambling folk of Mumford and Sons‘ “The Cave” in the same way. Gone are the freewheeling interludes of the original, but the cover’s beauty is in its simplicity and the difference is not a loss but an alteration.
Unlike those last two, she inverts “Where I Stood” by Missy Higgins, replacing the piano of the original with acoustic guitar. She returns with the guitar on Neon Trees‘ “Animal.” These two are perhaps the most interesting in the set, because they seem the most fitting to the YouTube trope of girl-with-her-guitar-on-a-webcam, lacking the somewhat more sophisticated recording and production of the others. Just when you think this could be a weakness, there’s that voice again. Dia Frampton is certainly not just another girl with her guitar; see for yourself.
Dia Frampton – Someone Like You (Adele Cover)
Dia Frampton – The Way I Am (Ingrid Michaelson Cover)
Dia Frampton – The Cave (Mumford and Sons Cover)
Dia Frampton – Where I Stood (Missy Higgins Cover)
Dia Frampton – Animal (Neon Trees Cover)