Following up on their massively successful Youtube version of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” (133 million views and counting!), Walk Off the Earth is back with another indie pop cover. As they prepare to kick off an international tour, the Ontario five-piece has released their take on fun.‘s “Some Nights.” They invited singer/songwriter Julia Nunes along for the ride.
Earlier this year, folk singer-songwriter Sam Beam, better known by the stage name Iron and Wine, joined a bill of prominent country artists including Willie Nelson, Lucinda Williams, and Sheryl Crow for a tribute show in honor of Johnny Cash’s 80th birthday. The concert was released on CD/DVD last week as We Walk the Line: A Celebration of the Music of Johnny Cash. Beam’s contribution to the album was a take on the much-covered track “Long Black Veil,” which Cash recorded for his 1965 album Orange Blossom Special.
A year after the sudden passing of Amy Winehouse, Q Magazine dedicated an issue to looking back at her life and music. They accompanied their tribute with a collection of covers from Winehouse’s Grammy-winning sophomore album Back to Black. Bands like The Cribs, The Temper Trap, and Dry the River contributed to the album, as did London’s Saint Etienne, who chose to cover “Just Friends.”
Last week’s Olympics opening ceremony has gotten a lot of news coverage for Danny Boyle’s fantastical re-imagination of centuries of British life, from agrarian idyll to the Queen skydiving with James Bond. Friday’s spectacle also showcased some of Britain’s most noteworthy musicians. Paul McCartney closed the ceremony with “Hey Jude,” and the Arctic Monkeys— sometimes touted as this generation’s answer to The Beatles – covered “Come Together” with the former Beatle looking on.
Frequent Triple J Like a Version visitors The Maccabees returned to the studio this week for another live session. Last time they stopped by the studio, they covered The Black Keys’ “Lonely Boy.” During this visit, they reached a little further into the musical past and performed Neil Diamond‘s oft-covered track “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon.”
London based singer-songwriter Alex Clare shot into the spotlight a few months ago when Microsoft chose his track “Too Close” for their new Internet Explorer ads. “Too Close” is heavily influenced by dubstep, but Clare’s musical repertoire extends well beyond electronic music. During his recent visit to the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge, he showcased his vocals in a stripped down cover of fun.‘s recent hit “We Are Young.”
Bree Sharp and Don DiLego, the longtime musical collaborators known together as Beautiful Small Machines, have spent the last decade crafting a series of techno-tinged pop EPs. On their latest track, a cover of M.I.A.‘s 2008 hit “Paper Planes,” they take a more laid back approach. In their entry to the ever-popular folk cover genre, they trade the electronic blips of their original work for a banjo, transforming M.I.A.’s politicized Worldbeat into a woozy ballad.
Australian folk songstress Julia Stone has appeared on our radar before as one half of folk-blues duo Angus and Julia Stone alongside her brother. The pair has achieved substantial success in their native country, and Julia has also released two solo albums, including her brand new disc By the Horns. The album includes a cover of The National‘s “Bloodbuzz Ohio.”
The National’s original track is an expansive centerpiece to their 2010 album High Violet, carried by Matt Berninger’s powerful voice. Stone’s cover dials back the emotion that The National brings to their performance, favoring high, wavering vocals and gentler instrumentals. When the two are compared, Stone’s cover feels polished and in keeping with her musical style, but somewhat insubstantial in the shadow of its source material.