Labor Day may have come and gone, but technically we’ve got a few more weeks of summer left. So there’s still time for more covers of Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks,” the unofficial Indie Song of the Summer. The latest version comes from beloved Brits the Kooks, who performed a new cover for the BBC Live Lounge.
Festivals often entice artists to perform covers. What better way to convert the uninitiated than by drawing them in with a song they know and then (ideally) hooking them by transforming it into your sound? This past weekend’s Lollapalooza, though, seemed to offer even more cover performances than usual. Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune even christened Saturday “#80snight” to keep track of all the ‘80s covers performed.
We’ve already heard Foster the People‘s “Pumped Up Kicks” covered quite a few times this summer. The upbeat track by the California breakout band has been transformed into a melancholy song about tragedy (from Toronto singer Royal Wood), a dreamlike glockenspiel track (from Melbourne pop singer Owl Eyes) and a quiet ukulele song (from British ukulele player Sophie Madeleine). Now the smash song is given the covers treatment via a live version from California rock superstars Weezer, who transform the poppy track about how to “outrun my gun” into a stadium anthem.
British ukulele player Sophie Madeleine knows the reach of a YouTube cover. Released two years ago, her bedroom cover of Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” has garnered over 200,000 views and earned her props from musicians like Ingrid Michaelson. So to promote her upcoming album The Rhythm You Started, she is leading up to the July 25th release date with a cover a day.
A little more than a month after we wrote about Toronto singer/songwriter Royal Wood covering Foster the People, we have a new, completely different version of the song. “Pumped Up Kicks,” the effortlessly cool summer jam by California’s indie up-and-comers, has been reworked once again by Melbourne’s 20 year old pop sensation Owl Eyes (aka Brooke Addamo). The cover version, which Owl Eyes and a backing band performed on the Triple J radio show Like a Version, was a favorite of Brooke’s for the unusually sinister trappings lurking within the pop song.