They Say It’s Your Birthday celebrates an artist’s special day with other people singing his or her songs. Let others do the work for a while. Happy birthday!

Matthew Sweet turns 48 today. In a few weeks his signature album Girlfriend will be old enough to legally drink, but in a more important way, it will never grow old; Sweet’s masterpiece of love and loss is infinitely timeless, and we’re grateful for it permanently placing him in the power-pop pantheon.
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It’s no wonder that an artist might want to cover their favorite song by one of their favorite bands. It’s even less surprising when that favorite band is Death Cab for Cutie and the artist in question is touring with them. Such is precisely the case for Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison. Continue reading »

They Say It’s Your Birthday celebrates an artist’s big day with cover tributes to his or her songs. Let others do the work for a while. Happy birthday!

Prolific indie musician Ben Gibbard celebrates his 35th birthday on August 11. He’ll be spending the big day in Georgia, touring in support of Death Cab for Cutie’s latest release Codes and Keys; here at Cover Me we’re saluting him with five covers of his work by other artists. In light of his extensive catalogue with both Death Cab and electronic side project The Postal Service, there were a lot of options, but we’ve narrowed it down to a few of the best. Continue reading »

For a few years in the early ‘90s, Oxford quartet Ride looked like they were about to break big. One of them did – Andy Bell, who left to join Oasis – but, after their 1995 break-up, the rest were left with one top-ten chart appearance (1992’s “Leave Them All Behind”) and a whole bunch of bad feelings about what might have been. Though they were situated right in the shoegaze-to-Britpop transition, the world moved on and mostly forgot about Ride. Continue reading »

Just in time for the release of Death Cab For Cutie’s new album Codes and Keys, soulful Detroit singer-songwriter Stewart Francke has released a rock and roll-infused cover of Death Cab’s 2006 song “I Will Follow You Into the Dark.” Francke heard the song through his 16-year old daughter constantly playing it with her friends, and soon grew to appreciate it enough to pay homage on his new album Heartless World (which features a guest spot from Bruce Springsteen). Continue reading »

This Week on Bandcamp rounds up our favorite covers to hit the site in the past seven days.

After last week’s ten-track bonanza, we tried to keep things reasonable this week. It was tough though. The five tracks below take on sources both buzz-worthy (new Death Cab!) and obscure (1983 Eddie Jobson and the Zincs track). No two take a remotely similar approach, making this one of the most diverse sets we’ve had so far. Continue reading »

Live Collection brings together every live cover we can find from an artist. And we find a lot.

Over the past decade, Portland quintet the Decemberists have gone from indie darlings to indie darlings with a number-one album. This year’s The King is Dead took the band to new levels of commercial success, shining some national attention on a band whose name was once known only to the chamber pop-obsessed and English majors. It may not be too unfounded to compare this band’s story to that of R.E.M.’s in the ‘80s; in fact, given the unabashed fandom they display on The King is Dead, that’s a comparison they’d probably happily invite.

The collection of covers crooned by the Decemberists mostly betrays their too-cool-for-school nature. They seem to have hit all the requisites that prove you listened to hip music in the ’80s – the Velvet Underground, the Smiths, Echo & the Bunnymen, etc. However, there’s a few genuine surprises here. Embarrassing reading of the Outfield‘s “Your Love” notwithstanding, there’s some real pleasure to be had in the band’s delight at ripping into Heart‘s “Crazy on You,” or in their surprisingly earnest rendition of Bad Company‘s “Feel Like Making Love.” Band leader Colin Meloy also turns in an intimate, slowed-down version of Cheap Trick‘s “Summer Girls” to great effect. Even the band’s usual bombast makes itself known in the 16-minute epic of Pink Floyd‘s “Echoes.” Continue reading »

Like free stuff? Just kidding. You’re reading a music blog; of course you like free stuff. Well, if the daily MP3 trickle leaves you wanting, how about this: 27 new covers, free to download, in this one post. They come from two new online mixtapes.

Verb/Re/Verb is an indie blog run by a 15-year old from Los Angeles. Normally, her age would be irrelevant – that’s the beauty of the Internet, after all – except that it inspired her to curate a cover mixtape. YOUTH collects nine new covers by artists under 18. The set mixes songs by INXS and ‘N Sync, Sufjan Stevens and Loverboy. “Purple Rain” proves instantly recognizable, but “Get Down” is so whacked-out you could spend weeks listening and never guess the original artist (it’s the Backstreet Boys apparently). The set leans towards dubstep, with folkier breaks here and there. Continue reading »

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