Jan 062012
 

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. Continue reading »

Dec 162011
 

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.

Dec 062011
 

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. Continue reading »

Oct 272011
 

Ever masters of cross-promotion, Coldplay hit the Live Lounge today to cover Rihanna. She appears as the only guest on new album Mylo Xyloto, so the cover served a smart opportunity to remind folks of the pairing. In fact, the only more marketing-savvy person to cover might be producer Brian Eno. Coldplay Does Ambient 1: Music for Airports anyone? Continue reading »

Oct 262011
 

Only two months ago, Noah and the Whale hit the BBC Live Lounge to bust out a Robyn cover. They’ve returned already, as part of Radio 1’s Student Tour, with another cover. This time they get even more current with a cover of Coldplay’s newest single “Paradise.” Continue reading »

Oct 052011
 

Every Wednesday, our resident Gleek Eric Garneau gives his take on last night’s Glee covers.

In “Asian F,” auditions for West Side Story continue, with Mercedes (Amber Riley) and Rachel (Lea Michele) battling it out for the leading role of Maria. Meanwhile, Mike Chang (Harry Shum, Jr.) starts to falter academically, and Will (Matthew Morrison) tries to get Emma (Jayma Mays) to introduce him to her parents.

Week by week, Glee threatens to make me more culturally literate. Last week we got an education in West Side Story, while this week’s episode takes on something of a Dreamgirls theme — one of its songs comes from that classical musical-turned-film, while two others hail from the film’s stars. Unlike last week’s episode, however, we’ve got three more songs thrown into the mix as well: another from West Side Story, one from the musical Fame, and Coldplay‘s monster ballad “Fix You.” That gives us a bit more musical variety than we’ve seen so far this year, although songs from actual musicals still take up perhaps more than their share of space. Also, with all these songs from West Side Story already performed, do you think we’ll actually get to see the musical? There won’t be anything left to do! Continue reading »