Nick Drake has been covered a lot. His music has a straightforward beauty to its melodies but contains enough complexity to be open to endless reinterpretation. Typically this shows up as a cut by a singer-songwriter or indie-folk group, but rarely as a jazzy R&B version. And let me be the first to say: we need more R&B Nick Drake covers.
In retrospect, it feels like it was only a matter of time before an Adele cover launched a talented young person to viral mega-sensation status – and that time has come. While Adele is always eminently coverable, “Hello” has been a blend of hype machine and vocal power showcase since before it was even released, and it seems a student from Seoul Music High School in Korea has covered just the right song at just the right moment to ride that wave into her own spotlight.
Chromatics have been teasing us with previews of their long awaited album, Dear Tommy. Instead of releasing the album promised to us over a year ago, Chromatics has flirted with our impatience once more, giving us just enough to hold onto hope with their cover of Cyndi Lauper‘s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” for fashion brand MANGO.
American cable television network Starz gave a peak into the opening title sequence of their upcoming ballet drama Flesh and Bone, and with it comes a striking and sultry cover of the Animotion classic “Obsession.”
The ’80s synthpop jam, originally a duet by Holly Knight and Michael De Barres before being launched to massive popularity with Animotion’s recording, takes on new life under Karen O. With stunning visuals alongside stellar music, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman assures the opening title sequence to the upcoming ballet series stimulates intrigue.
Vin Diesel’s latest movie, The Last Witch Hunter, hit theaters last weekend. With it comes a cover of the Rolling Stones’ classic, “Paint It, Black” by Ciara. And I’m not going to lie. I assumed that “Ciara Covers The Stones” was bound to be an inevitable train wreck. Not that I have anything against Ciara, but because it just seemed like an odd choice.
Even she even admitted to Rolling Stone that it was a surprise to be asked to do this song. “I had never thought to cover this song. It was never on my radar to cover it, but when the opportunity came along, I was very thrilled.”
However, once I listened to the song, I knew that I was listening to one of my favorite covers of the year.
To many listeners, James Blake first announced himself via an amazing cover of Feist’s “Limit To Your Love.” He doesn’t do covers that often, but every time he does they are revelatory (see also: his version of Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You”). Now he has done it once again with a sparse electronic version of Simon & Garfunkel‘s “Sound of Silence.”
Indie-electronica group Hot Chip know how to rock a cover, as they proved when they put out one of last year’s best covers of the year. Now they’re back with one that could put them on that list in 2015 as well. The group is on tour now and has been performing Bruce Springsteen‘s “Dancing in the Dark” live at shows this summer. They recently released an official video and studio version of the song and its well worth a listen.