Duncan Sheik had one of the 1990s’ more enduring songs in “Barely Breathing,” which hung around the Billboard Top 100 charts for a full year. As they say in (what used to be) the radio business, it tested well. Six additional albums have followed, but Sheik has spent much of the past five years composing scores for Broadway productions and winning both Tony and Grammy awards in the process. Long before he was halfway to an EGOT, though, Sheik spent his teenage years in the 1980s. On Covers 80s he reflects the influence that a wide range of synthpop bands and tracks had on his formative years.

This is no John Hughes soundtrack compilation and if you’re looking for a “Walking On Sunshine” feel-good nostalgia trip, you’ll likely be disappointed. While a few big hits are represented, Sheik offers a deeper and somewhat darker journey back into his past. Although he grew up in New Jersey, Sheik does not include any American bands on Covers 80’s. He says that the litmus test for inclusion was “did I really, really care about it when I was 15 or 16?” Apparently what Sheik really, really cared about back then was the electronic, indie and New Romantic pop of the second British Invasion and Covers 80s benefits greatly from Sheik’s choice of source material. Continue reading »

Quickies rounds up new can’t-miss covers. Download ‘em below.

• Latin fusion guitarist Al Di Meola just released an instrumental cover of the Beatles‘ “Strawberry Fields Forever.” His guitar gently weeps with aching emotion as the band shuffles along beside.
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At Cover Me, we like to give stuff away. Read on to learn how that stuff can be yours.

What a treat we have for you today! It’s the biggest giveaway we’ve ever done and, in all likelihood, the biggest we’ll ever do. We’ve got red vinyl! We’ve got blue vinyl! We’ve got CDs! We’ve got hoodies! We’ve got t-shirts! We’ve got a heaping stack of fantastic goodies based around the album New Tales to Tell: A Tribute to Love and Rockets. Read on to find out how you can be one of 20 winners! Continue reading »

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