Maryam Motamedi

Maryam is a lover and fighter from Los Angeles. She loves travel, music, and languages. "...And if the whole world's harp should burn up, there will still be hidden instruments playing, playing..." From 'Where Everything Is Music' by Rumi. Follow her on Twitter.

Jan 092018
 
Jorja Smith Lost

You may have heard rising British star Jorja Smith on a couple of tracks on Drake’s latest album. And just last month, she recorded a soulful version of “Lost” by Frank Ocean; not in (to quote the lyrics) “Miami, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Spain…Los Angeles, India…[or] on a train”– but in London’s Metropolis Studios, for Spotify Sessions.

Smith’s rendition is what one imagines the writers’ original version sounded like pre-production: soulful, stripped-down, and emotional. With lyrics about a woman who’s lost her way, this cover aims right for the heartstrings while Ocean’s version – written and produced by Malay (who has also produced Sam Smith, Lorde, and John Legend) – is upbeat and contradictory to the lyrical journey. Continue reading »

Jul 252017
 

Fans were on pins and needles at last weekend’s FYF in Los Angeles, fearing the elusive Frank Ocean may not show up again.

Ocean is a rare talent catalogers and writers have a hell of a time classifying. In fact, any one of his albums can fit into multiple musical genres: contemporary pop, hip-hop, psychedelic pop, R&B, alt-R&B, soul, avant-garde, etc. There are multiple Reddit threads dedicated solely to debating how to categorize his music.

Given his range, when this ultra-versatile musician and music lover, whose playlists show a wide-ranging taste, covered a 1984 hit from the Nigerian disco star, Steve Monite, the sound felt natural and fit right into Oceanic soundscapes. Continue reading »

Jun 052017
 
carla bruni enjoy the silence

Carla Bruni, the former model, actress, and first lady of France, has released a beautiful rendition of Depeche Mode’s oft-covered “Enjoy the Silence” as the first single off her upcoming English-language covers album, French Touch (out in October).

The song remains one of the legendary British band’s most recognized and beloved contributions to the beautiful soundscape they have created in the four decades they have been active. There have been tons of covers of “Enjoy The Silence” since its release in 1990, but Bruni’s version is sure to be independently admired, as she has treated this piece like an original, stripping it down to a very intimate level.
Continue reading »

May 302017
 
james blake frank ocean

Frank Ocean’s “Godspeed”, from his Blonde album, has been a popular song to cover, with a great recent take from Stormzy. But it’s even more special that James Blake would cover the song that samples his own “Always”.

Blake, who’s been a mastermind and contributor to a lot of other great artists, including Kendrick Lamar, produced, arranged and made keyboard contributions to Ocean’s original “Godspeed”. It is safe to assume the performance on May 14th in Arizona was not Blake’s first time playing the song. In a solo piano set, Blake performed an even mellower, more somber version of Ocean’s song. Continue reading »

Apr 152017
 
HBO Girls music

The first episode of Girls aired on April 15, 2012, exactly five years ago. Six seasons in five years is more aggressive than the usual one-season-per-year pace of most shows. You could say Girls was growing up fast.

The series has featured more than 389 songs (per Tunefinder), not including the music of the finale tomorrow. Music writers routinely covered episodes, reveling in the impact the show’s music had on the depth of the storyline.

Covers of male songs performed by women were sprinkled across the episodes, in many cases spotlighting younger and less famous females. HBO could certainly afford the rights to the original recordings, so using these covers became a deliberate choice, not a plan B. Continue reading »

Jun 152015
 
the doors tribute

During the six years Jim Morrison was alive and leading vocals for The Doors, 1965-1971, the group produced six albums. That is quite a feat, especially given the number of singles and hits they produced. The Doors’ music has lived on and tribute albums and covers have been made. The latest tribute from May comes from Murder Studios Presents. The nineteen cover songs each lend their own unique sound to decades-old songs that seem to never expire. Continue reading »