Under the Radar shines a light on lesser-known cover artists. If you’re not listening to these folks, you should. Catch up on past installments here.
London’s Tom Rosenthal writes songs with titles like “Toby Carr’s Difficult Relationship With Tuna” and “Watching You Watching YouTube in the Dark.” His piano playing is less playing than painting, capturing various shades and hues with his arrangements. Here at Cover Me, we’re glad to do our part in turning his designation as “Britain’s Best Unknown Songwriter” into a thing of the past. We just choose to do it by featuring his work on other people’s songwriting. Continue reading »
Follow all our Best of 2015 coverage (along with previous year-end lists) here.
I didn’t realize it until I began laying out our post, but this year’s Best Cover Songs list shares quite a few artists with last year’s. And some that showed up here the year before that. Jack White’s on his fourth appearance. And Jason Isbell and Hot Chip not only both reappear from last year, but have moved up in the rankings.
Though we’re always on the lookout for the new (and to be sure, there are plenty of first-timers here too), the number of repeat honorees illustrates how covering a song is a skill just like any other. The relative few artists who have mastered it can probably deliver worthy covers again and again.
How a great cover happens is something I’ve been thinking a lot about this year as I’ve been writing a series of articles diving deep into the creation of iconic cover songs through history (I posted two of them online, and the rest are being turned into a book). In every case the artist had just the right amount of reverence for the original song: honoring its intention without simply aping it. It’s a fine line, and one even otherwise able musicians can’t always walk. Plenty of iconic people don’t make good cover artists (I’d nominate U2 as an example: some revelatory covers of the band, but not a lot by them). Given the skill involved, perhaps it’s no surprise that someone who can do a good cover once can do it again.
So, to longtime readers, you will see some familiar names below. But you’ll also see a lot of new names, and they’re names you should remember. If the past is any guide, you may well see them again next year, and the year after that.
Click on over to page two to begin our countdown, and thanks for reading.
Chromatics have been teasing us with previews of their long awaited album, Dear Tommy. Instead of releasing the album promised to us over a year ago, Chromatics has flirted with our impatience once more, giving us just enough to hold onto hope with their cover of Cyndi Lauper‘s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” for fashion brand MANGO.Continue reading »
Yoodoo Park, also known by his stage name GRMLN, started making music to drive around to while cruising around Santa Cruz and San Francisco during the summer of his seventeenth year. The 21-year-old California native has brought a lo-fi mentality to Cyndi Lauper‘s classic ballad, “Time After Time.”Continue reading »
It is hard to believe that indie rockers Tegan & Sara have been churning out angst and heartbreak melodies for roughly 17 years. In anticipation of their seventh studio album, Heartthrob, the Quinn twins visited Billboard for a Candid Covers session of Cyndi Lauper‘s “Time After Time.”Continue reading »
A few months ago Tyler Ramsey released an acoustic cover of the ’80s hit “All Through The Night,” written by Jules Shear and famously covered by Cyndi Lauper on her 1984 debut album. Now the tune seems to be making a full-fledged comeback, as a new collaborative project called U.S. Elevator recently released their own cover as a single. The voice behind the group is none other than Sarah Lee Guthrie, daughter of Arlo and granddaughter of Woody, who has released several albums with her husband Johnny Irion as a folk-rock duo. To form U.S. Elevator, the pair joined forces with San Franciscan production duo The Rondo Brothers, who are connected to acts like Galactic and Foster the People.Continue reading »