Sep 072016
 
DollyPartondark

Earlier this summer, we got an email from a band we’d never heard of: 48 Cameras. They sent very little information, just short clips of some cover songs on Facebook. But those clips were amazing. We’ve been bugging us ever since for full versions, and they’ve finally obliged with an upcoming covers album, Songs Our Mothers Taught Us. It’s easily one of the strangest and most fascinating covers album of the year, Tom Waits meets Serge Gainsbourg meets Twin Peaks. They cover a whole bunch of classic songs on the album – “My Funny Valentine,” “By the Time We Get to Phoenix,” “Famous Blue Raincoat” – but none sounds like any version we’ve ever heard.

Despite having worked together for thirty years, the band members have never met. They live all over Europe and work remotely, with different people in the ever-changing lineup contributing to different tracks. “Our music could be a music written in a foreign language which we would not totally like to master,” says frontman (for lack of a better term) Jean M. Mathoul. Continue reading »

Aug 312016
 

Working at an elementary school fundamentally changes the way you listen to and critique music. After only a year of working with children, I have become something of a pop music – dare I say it – enthusiast. I have listened to (and danced) the Nae Nae more times than my angsty-and-holier-than-thou-17-year-old-self would have ever though possible. I know all the words to even the Bieber songs that aren’t on a continuous radio loop.

I’m not even mad about it though. Pop music is fun as hell, and artist JLiNE knows this, too. His club-ready originals have a genuineness about them; he unabashedly calls on the listener to get in on the good times he is clearly having in his videos.  Cover Me has an exclusive of his cover mash-up of Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song” and  Justin Bieber‘ “Where R U Now?” and I dare you not to bob your head along. Continue reading »

Aug 302016
 
jhachadezola-picaroobscuro_1

We get a lot of Ariana Grande covers submitted to us, and they tend to follow a formula: a young woman showcases her best arena-filling belt on YouTube. Like Mariah Carey before her, Ariana Grande songs offer an occasion to show off one’s vocal chops. Some of the belting is pretty good, but big, powerful singing doesn’t make an Ariana Grande cover any different than an Ariana Grande original. But now, finally, we have a musician taking a very different approach.

J Hacha De Zola hails from the town of Rahway, New Jersey and exhibits the state’s blue-collar work ethic: he’s already released two albums this year! And if that wasn’t enough output, he’s now got a bonus cut, his wild new cover of Grande’s “Bad Decisions.” It’s a wonderfully ramshackle production, a huge, swaying barroom roll somewhere between Tom Waits and the Pogues (longtime Waits saxman Ralph Carney in fact plays on his latest album, Picaro Obscuro). If you know Grande’s original, this cover is barely recognizable – and if you don’t the recording stands on its own. Continue reading »

Aug 232016
 
AudreySpillman1byWillHolland

As has happened with a number of Kris Kristofferson songs (“Me and Bobby McGee,” “For the Good Times,” “Sunday Morning Comin’ Down”), “I’ve Got to Have You” was originally a hit for somebody else, Carly Simon. When Kristofferson first recorded his own version in 1974, he turned it into a duet, with his then-wife Rita Coolidge. Forty years later, he’s reprising his part on a gorgeous new cover by Nashville singer/songwriter Audrey Spillman.

Spillman met Kristofferson last year when they both acted together on the upcoming movie Wheeler. She’d given his wife a copy of her new EP and the couple loved it. As Spillman began recording her debut album (Thornbird, out next month), she emailed wondering whether he had any unrecorded songs he might like her to record. His wife suggested instead that Spillman record “I’ve Got To Have You” – and have Kris sing it with her, reprising his part from forty years ago. Continue reading »

Jun 212016
 
RynoPhoto

I will admit, I was apprehensive when I saw this cover was tagged “electronic” on Soundcloud. The Flamingos’ “I Only Have Eyes For You” is a song that depends on soul and emotion, and I could just picture someone stripping it of all its tenderness with half-assed synths and an overbearing four-on-the-floor beat. Thankfully, I needn’t have worried. Though there may be a synthetic instrument or two in here, RYNO’s cover is all soul. Continue reading »

Jun 162016
 
heaven's jail

When Motörhead’s Lemmy Kilmister died, hard-rocking cover tributes poured in from the likes of Dave Grohl, Alice Cooper, and Slash. The covers tended to be a lot like Lemmy himself: loud, brash, unapologetic. Now, Brooklyn quartet Heaven’s Jail have paid tribute with a very different sort of cover. Spacey and haunting, their version of “Capricorn” ditches the huge riffs and slows things down – way down. Continue reading »