Quickies rounds up new can’t-miss covers. Download ‘em below.

Norwegian folkie Ane Brun releases It All Starts with One this week and she’s giving away a bonus track for free: a solo guitar Arcade Fire cover that shows her lilting Scandinavian accent hitting full force.
MP3: Ane Brun – Neighbourhood #1 (Tunnels) (Arcade Fire cover) Continue reading »

Björk covers are a tricky business. The originals are so idiosyncratic (read: weird) they seem to defy reinterpretation. How do you replicate the bizarre studio productions? Everyone from Radiohead to the Decemberists have tried, with mixed results.

Three Swedish artists attempted the, if not impossible, at least the very difficult at a ceremony awarding Björk the Polar Music Prize. Amazingly, even with the woman herself watching, all three pulled it off. Pop maven and 2010 breakout star Robyn, who covered Alicia Keys a few weeks ago, rocks some Björk-worthy shoulder pads for an orchestral-dance “Hyperballad.” Songwriter Ane Brun, who we recently heard cover Alphaville, utilizes the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra to their full potential in a delicate “Jóga.” Swedish duo Wildbirds & Peacedrums brought a little steel drum to “Human Behaviour.” Hard to know which is the best, though the honoree herself seems particularly moved by Brun. Continue reading »

Song of the Day posts one cool cover every morning. Catch up on past installments here.

Last week’s feature on Icelandic singer Ólöf Arnalds led me to delve deeper into Scandinavian singers. The lofi.tv Vimeo channel has a ton of great cover videos, including a bedroom version of Iron Maiden’s “The Trooper” that’s worth checking out. It was there I stumbled upon Ane Brun. She’s a Norwegian-born, Sweden-dwelling songwriter who – fun fact – is currently touring as one of Peter Gabriel‘s backup singers.

Alphaville had two hits. One of them, “Forever Young,” is enjoying a big resurgence as the basis for Jay-Z’s latest hit “Young Forever” (and by “basis,” I mean it’s like 3/4 of the song). The other is “Big in Japan,” not to be confused with the Tom Waits song of the same name. Alphaville’s debut single, the tune climbed to top of the charts in Switzerland, Germany, and Sweden. Oh, and on the super-prestigious Billboard Hot Dance Club Play list.
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