Over the course of a career now in its sixth decade, Joan Baez has always had her ear to the ground for younger voices. She famously introduced a little-known songwriter named Bob Dylan to her already big audiences, and has continued to seek out newer songwriters ever since. On her most recent albums, she’s covered songs by Josh Ritter and Thea Gilmore. And now, on her current tour, she’s been covering the Antony and the Johnsons song “Another World.”
In the Spotlight showcases a cross-section of an artist’s cover work. View past installments, then post suggestions for future picks in the comments!
He sounds like a slowed-down Jeff Buckley on female hormones. – Listener quoted in The Times of London
Antony Hegarty has a voice that sounds like it belongs to a Dostoyevsky character. Every song rides on an undercurrent of mournful reflection. – NPR
[W]hat a discovery: a voice like St Theresa’s arrow to pierce the soul. – The Australian
Every emotion in the planet is in that gorgeous voice. – Diamanda Galas
When I heard him, I knew that I was in the presence of an angel. – Lou Reed
This year’s cover albums offered ambition on a scale we’ve never seen before. Moving beyond the normal “cover a bunch of random songs we like” tossoff, 2012 offered deeply thought-out conceptual collections. One updated kiddie folk songs for raved-out rockers, others reworked complete albums to their own ends. Even the all-star tributes that pop up every year aimed higher – one of the year’s most high-profile had 70+ tracks! So today we count down the best of the bunch, the ones that swung for the fences and got there. With every passing year there seems to be less sigma attached to the phrase “cover album,” and these sets move that needle even farther forward.