Dec 132013
 

Fifty years ago, a covers album wasn’t called a “covers album.” It was called an album. Full stop.

Frank Sinatra, Elvis, Billie Holiday – most albums anyone bought were “covers albums” as we’d think of them today, but that’s not how folks thought of them then. Once the public began putting a premium on singers writing their own songs in the ’60s the concept of course shifted, so that an artist doing a covers album has to be like Michael Jordan playing baseball – an okay diversion but let’s get back to the main event please.

More so this year than ever before though, that pendulum seems to be swinging back in small but meaningful ways to what an album originally meant. More and more artists are releasing LPs saying, this is not my new quote-on-quote “covers album,” this is my new album (that happens to consist of covers). The attitude showcases a confidence and surety of purpose that shows they take performing other peoples songs every bit as seriously as they do their own.

That holds true for both of our top two covers albums this year, and plenty more sprinkled throughout. Which isn’t to knock anyone doing a covers album as a lark, novelty, tribute, or side project – you’ll see plenty of those here as well – but any blurred lines that put a “covers album” on the same level as a “normal” album have to be a good thing.

Start our countdown on Page 2…

Aug 222013
 

Justin Vernon is known as a busy guy with Bon Iver side projects such as Volcano Choir, The Shouting Matches, and the numerous collaborations he’s done with artists like Kanye West. Adding to his long list of works is his contribution to an album of Peter Gabriel covers, And I’ll Scratch Yours, a response to Peter Gabriel’s 2010 covers album, Scratch My Back. Several artists that Gabriel covered will also be contributing, with heavyweights like Arcade Fire, Brian Eno, and Lou Reed. Continue reading »

Apr 162013
 

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.” Continue reading »

Jun 062012
 

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. Continue reading »

Feb 082012
 

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. Continue reading »

Jan 252012
 

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. Continue reading »