I have a tendency to skirt around Daft Punk covers. It’s not that the covers fail to impress, it’s just that Daft Punk’s that good – it’s kind of hard to listen to a cover when the original perfectly satisfies what you need.
Miley Cyrus has often been a subject of controversy, and after a tweet directing her followers to “check dis shit out,” this past Saturday, she has come under scrutiny once again. No, she’s not lolling her tongue around or appropriating cultures – she simply covered Led Zeppelin‘s “Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You.”
Willow Smith has been pretty quiet since the release of her 2010 smash, “Whip My Hair.” The now 13-year-old has spent time tweeting cryptic messages, sampling Radiohead, and really gnashing her teeth with this whole teenage angst bit. Continuing in this trend, Will Smith’s teenage daughter released a simple but surprisingly good cover of King Krule’s “Easy, Easy.”
For many, Courtney Barnett seems to be the heir apparent to Kim Deal as the coolest woman in rock. It’s fair to say the ‘intelligent slacker’ look and sound of Kim and the scene she came from has certainly informed Barnett as a writer and a performer.
Covering “Hounds of Love” is something of a rite of passage for alt-bands of the 21st century. Some covers go unnoticed, others become anthems, such as The Futureheads take on the Kate Bush ballad. Other covers, such as Nite Jewel‘s pass at the jam, completely turn the song on its head, becoming an entirely different beast completely.
Arthur Russell is one of those artists I keep promising myself I’ll make some time to listen to. I’ve heard and read lots of good things about him. But the only familiarity with his music I have is through covers of his songs. Joel Gibb’s version of ‘That’s Us/Wild Combination’ off the tribute EP ‘Four Songs By Arthur Russell’ is an absolute stunner of a song.
For a debut solo effort, the new record by singer songwriter Kevin Lee Florence has attracted some heavy hitters, including Garth Hudson, who rose to fame as a member of The Band. Hudson’s imprint is all over Florence’s cover of Paul Simon’s “Peace Like a River.” His organ playing drifts in and out, both bluesy and ethereal, before hovering in the background for the final “Four in the morning I woke up from out of my dreams” verse.
In what is likely to be one of the most interesting cover I’ll hear all week, Road to Manila seamlessly takes on Bon Iver’s Perth.
With this interpretation, Road to Manila offers a welcome change to a beautiful track. The soft, wispy and ephemeral quality that is Bon Iver is still present, but is starkly contrasted with Nicolai Lindegaard’s passionate wailing in lieu of Justin Vernon’s signature falsetto cries. The drum beats a tad bit more aggressively and the distortion’s been turned up a notch, but there’s no mistaking the tune – it’s Perth, tackled from the other end of the music genre spectrum.