The Strokes’ “You Only Live Once” comes in two forms: as the opening track and third single from their album First Impressions of Earth and also as a demo version with the title “I’ll Try Anything Once,” released on the b-side of their “Heart in a Cage” single. The “You Only Live Once” single is upbeat, catchy, and features the full strength of the band. The “I’ll Try Anything Once” demo, however, is very different. It’s this version that Haim cover so beautifully during their recent visit to BBC Radio 1’s Piano Sessions.
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.
Unless you have been hiding under a proverbial Internet rock, you have seen Miley Cyrus‘s video for “Wrecking Ball” (or at least this disturbingly awesome Nic Cage spoof). She has been the center of mostly negative attention from the media, but behind all the tongue-sticking-out and pasties, there is a pretty good artist. Unstoppable sisters Haim proved this with their rendition of Cyrus’s latest single.