I’m not sure there were more great cover songs this year than any other. But there were more good ones.
What I mean by that is, the average quality of the covers we come across in the time we’ve been around has risen, rather dramatically. Whether they’re iTunes homepage singles or some guy emailing us his Bandcamp, more cover songs in 2013 avoid the old pitfalls than ever before. They don’t sound like they were recorded in a cereal box, substitute ear-bleeding volume for actual creativity, or – the worst cover sin of all – try to carbon-copying the original. With the ease of production and distribution available now, artists seemed to record covers only when they felt they had something to add, and do a halfway decent job committing those ideas to 1s and 0s. Continue reading »
Tomorrow, Bhi Bhiman releases covers album Substitute Preacher, his mostly-acoustic take on everyone from the Police to Dio. As these things often do, the project started with one song.
“The inspiration to do this covers record came from one song,” Bhiman wrote. “It was “Walk of Life”, by Dire Straits. I knew the song since being a kid, and I’ve always thought of it as Mark Knopfler’s nod to Chuck Berry’s ‘Johnny B. Goode.’ The song really rings true with me because, in a way, it’s my story too. So I started doing a live version, in a country blues style with the audience whistling along, and it became a highlight of my shows.”
For the video, Bhiman brought in old Buster Keaton footage, calling him the “greatest physical comedian of all time.” Listen to “Walk of Life” – and watch Keaton paddle a horse, scrub a lion, and fall down a lot – below.
Check out more Bhi Bhiman at his website.
Quickies rounds up new can’t-miss covers. Download ‘em below.
• Toronto quartet the Darcys recorded a full-album cover of Steely Dan’s Aja, which they’ll release later this month. For now, they released their version of “Josie,” trading in the original’s reggae-funk for an echoing, ambient-folk vibe. We can’t wait to hear the rest.
MP3: The Darcys – Josie (Steely Dan cover) Continue reading »
We at Cover Me get excited when a musician finds a genre twist that transforms a cover song’s meaning. Previously, we mentioned Laurence Collyer as the one-man-band member of The Diamond Family Archive who excels in doing just that. This Brighton-based musician takes generally upbeat pop songs and twists them into sad and lonely little folk and acoustic numbers. In his latest set, Collyer was kind enough to indulge us with an exclusive EP of outtakes from his brilliant 2009 cover album, The Wanderer. Some are alternative performances of album tracks; others are never-before-heard covers. Continue reading »
In the Spotlight showcases a cross-section of an artist’s cover work. View past installments, then post suggestions for future picks in the comments!
Recently, the Killers drummer Ronnie Vannucci hinted that the band’s hiatus may soon come to an end. The Vegas foursome hasn’t released an album since 2008’s Day & Age, though Vannucci and hardworking frontman Brandon Flowers have kept busy with solo projects. Day & Age was preceded by the 2007 b-sides disc Sawdust, where The Killers revealed their fondness for covers. Flowers and Co. favor older inspiration, having covered everyone from The Beatles (“Helter Skelter”) to David Bowie (“Moonage Daydream”), the Eagles (“Hotel California”) to Frankie Valli (“Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You”). Here are five of their best covers, four tackling songs by earlier generations and one from an unexpected peer. Continue reading »
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.
Although The Diamond Family Archive may sound like the name of a big band, it consists only of one man, by the name of Laurence Collyer. Settled on the south coast of England in Brighton, this ZZ-Top-bearded singer is a veritable jack of all trades in the music business. Along with writing, recording and producing his own songs through his own label, he also drops in to play with other local British bands and occasionally records EPs on friends’ labels. It’s near impossible to know how many albums Collyer has put out between his own projects and colleagues’ and he often limits printed album copies to less than 100 (including hand drawn artwork and other treasures). Despite being this busy, The Diamond Family Archive’s website labels him “reclusive.” Continue reading »
You all submit so many great covers it’s hard to keep up. When we fall behind, we gather the best and brightest in a Submission Roundup.
It’s that time once again. The proverbial mailbox is bursting with great submissions worthy of a feature, but there’re just too many! So, with less fanfare than they deserve, we round up all the submissions we didn’t get a chance to post this month. Thanks to all the artists for sharing their gifts. Enjoy. Tell us your favorite in the comments!
Do you have something to submit? Send it along here! Continue reading »