Some covers just have to be listened to in order to be appreciated. London-based trio Daughter stopped by Zane Lowe’s BBC radio show back towards the end of March and delivered a delicate mash up of Bon Iver‘s “Perth” and Hot Chip‘s “Ready for the Floor.”
A little less than a year ago, we over here at Cover Me couldn’t help but gush over Catherine A.D.’s delicate, weep-inducing take on Bon Iver‘s “The Wolves (Act I and II).” Since then, Cover Me has stalked her page and covered five of her covers. Needless to say we’re fans and couldn’t be more excited for her next covers release. Between finishing up at university and her debut full length album that’s due out this winter, Catherine A.D. found some time to put together all of her reworkings and covers for her album Reprise.
Celebrating their 50th anniversary The Chieftains will mark the occasion with the release of Voice of Ages on February 21. The album features the torch-bearers of traditional Irish music collaborating with stars from the worlds of indie-rock (Bon Iver, The Decemberists, The Low Anthem), country and Americana (The Civil Wars, Pistol Annies, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Punch Brothers), Irish and Scottish folk (Imelda May, Lisa Hannigan, Paolo Nutini) and more.
Back in November we introduced you to the Miracles of Modern Science when they covered Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks.” Well, they’re back with a new video, and it’s delightful. Justin Vernon’s Bon Iver is up for Best New Artist at the Grammys this year (despite the fact that his debut came out in 2008) and despite the new directions 2011’s Bon Iver, Bon Iver took the “band,” the core of his style remains: chilly choruses of his own voice.
When people look back in 2011 in music a decade from now, one name will come to mind: Adele. In our little world of cover songs, she dominated. Everyone covered Adele this year. It’s not just that we saw more covers of “Rolling in the Deep” than any other song; they beat out second place (probably “Pumped Up Kicks”) by like a factor of five! We generally try to look for larger cover trends in these annual wrap-ups, but it’s hard to remember anything else from this year except the year-long onslaught of Adele covers hitting our mailbox.
There’s only one “Rolling in the Deep” cover in this year’s list though. The rest are all over the place. Some of the artists listed built their covers with lush soundscapes, thick beats, and intricate string work. Others just took guitars or pianos and bowled us over with the emotion in their voices. There may not be much of an overarching “Year in Covers” narrative, but that means there’s a cover or two for everyone. From feel-good takes on rap songs to kill-yourself versions of pop songs, this year’s list features flips, flops, and genre switcheroos of all sorts. A good cover should be informed by the source material but stand on its own, and we’ll be unrolling the 50 finest examples of songs doing just that all week. Start with #50-41 on the next page and check back daily as we count down to the best cover of 2011.
As you are surely aware, all week we are meticulously counting down the Best Cover Songs of 2011. While we do that list, though, other publications have been putting out their own best songs list. There is no firm consensus for #1, but we are seeing many of the same tracks pop up over and over again. So we tossed together a set of the best free covers of the best songs of the year.