New York native Kiah Victoria is nothing short of an outstanding artist, and after her recent take on Coldplay’s renowned organ ballad, there won’t be many who’d oppose that claim. Having begun her musical pursuits at the age of two and later gone on to perform as Young Nala in the Broadway production of The Lion King at the tender age of ten, it comes as no surprise the degree of talent which she is capable of. A talent she eagerly displays with her take on Coldplay‘s “Fix You.”
In Memoriam pays tribute to those who have left this world, and the songs they left us to remember them by.
One of Walt Whitman’s most famous lines is, “I am large, I contain multitudes” and nowhere is this more evident than in Adam Yauch.
He was MCA – one-third of legendary hip hop troika, Beastie Boys. He was Nathanial Hornblower, Sir Stewart Wallace and Nathan Wind as Cochese. He was an MC, a bassist, a director, a film distributor, a punk, a hip hop head, a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, a practicing Buddhist and a staunch advocate of civil rights and the Free Tibet movement. He was a son, a husband, a father, and (despite being an only child) a brother. He was cooler than a cucumber in a bowl of hot sauce.
Adam Yauch, known to his fans as MCA of the Beastie Boys, passed away on May 4th after a near three year battle with cancer. When Yauch was first diagnosed in 2009, Coldplay played an unexpected but well-received cover of the Beastie Boys “Fight For Your Right (To Party).” On the day of Yauch’s passing, Coldplay brought back the cover while playing in Los Angeles in tribute to the great musician, filmmaker, and philanthropist.
YouTube is filled with amateur cover artists. Most stink. On The ‘Tube extracts the exceptions.
Guitarist Casey Shea first tipped us to his band Everlea’s YouTube page more than a year ago. From the first video we played, it was immediately apparent that these acoustic covers needed to be categorized somewhat differently than the more amateur performances we normally dig up. Each video was beautifully filmed in a different location, swapping the usual bedroom-webcam aesthetic for barns and harbors. The cinematic backdrops frame Everlea singer Justin Dubé’s lovely acoustic takes on the Killers, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and over a dozen others.
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.
It’s not hard to find amateur acoustic covers online, but it is hard to find ones you might listen to more than once. Happily, Pakistani artist Alina Ishaque fits into the second category. Her renditions of Coldplay’s “Fix You” and Elton John’s oft-covered “Your Song” have a professional polish that showcases her voice.