May 212018
 

In Memoriam pays tribute to those who have left this world, and the songs they left us to remember them by.

frightened rabbit covers

As a musician that avidly records cover songs, I often think about what draws me to putting my stamp on a particular song.

In the thirty years I’ve been playing covers, I find myself drawn to music that could be described as “emotional” without always fitting neatly into a genre box. I connect with a song’s content craft enough to try to reinvent it from the inside out. I am always drawn to songs of love lost, forlorn, or unrequited. The “breakup” song itself is something I immediately can empathize with, which is why a lot of my covers fall under the category of “ballad,” for better or worse.

Now one of my favorite writers of such songs has left us, and it’s really hit me hard. Having first seen Frightened Rabbit live in an intimate setting in Chicago after the release of The Midnight Organ Fight about a decade ago, lead singer Scott Hutchison was one of those frontmen that I immediately identified with. Continue reading »

Feb 272015
 

Full Albums features covers of every track off a classic album. Got an idea for a future pick? Leave a note in the comments!

Writing about Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot seems a little like eating at a buffet right before closing. There may be a few good things left, but it is pretty well picked over, and what’s left has lost its flavor. Few rock albums of the past 20 years have been discussed and analyzed as much as YHF. Yet we proceed, undaunted, because what we do is different. And maybe, just maybe, listening to a full set of covers of each song of this great album will allow you to hear it anew. Because you never know when the buffet is going to get restocked with something fresh.
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Sep 182013
 

Five Good Covers presents five cross-genre reinterpretations of an oft-covered song.

Years ago, we said that the Smiths’ “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out” might be a good candidate for the Five Good Covers department. Today, finally, we’re following through. Partly to atone for the delay, and partly because of the ridiculously high number of quality covers out there, we’re throwing in an extra three covers this time. Think of them as bonus tracks of what’s arguably the quintessential Smiths song.
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Oct 072011
 

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!

After a whirlwind New York visit last week to promote Radiohead’s The King of Limbs, Thom Yorke has returned to England. No word on when we’ll hear from him next, but the wait might not be too long. Bassist Colin Greenwood told NME a few days ago, “We’re getting together this week to talk about our plans for the rest of the year. We’re having a brilliant time, so obviously we want to keep it going.” Continue reading »

May 122011
 

Download This scours the web’s dark corners for cool cover freebies. View past installments.

Here at Cover Me, we tend to see a lot of artists pop up over and over. Some, like Stephin Merritt, are covered all the time for the sheer versatility of their songwriting. Others, like James Eric, have the ear and the talent for releasing a near-constant stream of quality covers. Eric, in fact, has been even more of a staple on this blog than Merritt or his band the Magnetic Fields and was the first artist featured in our Cover Commissions series.

Now we’re featuring Eric not as cover artist, but as cover curator. 21 Love Songs: A Tribute To The Magnetic Fields isn’t the first of his compilations we’ve come across – we featured his Broadway collection last June – but it is his first and, by his own admission, his best. Despite the album 69 Love Songs-recalling title, we’re treated to covers of a vast swathe of the Fields catalog, going so far as to include “Plant White Roses” from Merge Records’ fifth anniversary compilation. Continue reading »

Jan 172011
 

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!

There’s no denying that it takes a versatile artist to write songs about love in ways that are both consistently inventive and precise. It takes an artist like Stephin Merritt to create songs that not only are beautiful individual pieces, but also paint a broader picture of hope and despair, murder and joy, beauty and hideousness. Merritt somehow manages to create a comprehensive picture of love with his songs, all while bringing his distinctive indie-pop sensibility to it. This book of love is never boring. He turns forty-five today. Continue reading »