This week, Jason Isbell and his wife Amanda Shires dropped a surprise two-song covers EP called Sea Songs. It features sparse takes on two natically-themed tracks, Warren Zevon‘s “Mutineer” and a more unexpected choice: Lykke Li‘s storming “I Follow Rivers.” They just hit the web, stream both below.
Adele dominated the cover song landscape in 2011, but Two-Aught-Twelve saw no similar galvanizing figure. Yes Lana Del Rey got covered a lot, but Leonard Cohen and Arcade Fire also seemed to garner an unexpected landslide of great covers (and speaking of landslides, so did Fleetwood Mac). “Call Me Maybe” was a huge hit that didn’t lead to much in the way of classic covers, and few seem to have even bothered attempting the Korean raps on “Gangnam Style.”
Which means that cover songs in 2012 were more diverse, ambitious, and left-field than ever before. A given YouTube search or Hype Machine browse would be as likely to turn up forgotten hits or underappreciated songwriters as it would the latest Top 40 smash. Find a sampling of all the diversity in Cover Me’s official Best Cover Songs of 2012 countdown. Start with #40-31 on the next page, and check back daily as we’ll be adding more til we hit #1.
Sometimes you just don’t know what to expect from two men dressed in Steampunk fashion. Austin ragtaggers Libations & Oscillations – whose Facebook username is boozeandbeats, by the way – are two such men. The Texas based producers are self proclaimed drinkers and beatmakers, claiming that “No style is too bold… No nuance too subtle…” With that mantra in mind, the duo has created a dark and dance-ready rendition of Lykke Li‘s “I Follow Rivers.”
You know the soft rock/world music CDs you see at the check-out point of your local Starbucks? Turns out that these CDs aren’t entirely worth passing up. Starbucks’ label Hear Music/Concord has gathered some of the best and brightest musical talents for the Fleetwood Mac tribute compilation, Just Tell Me That You Want Me, and with producers Randall Poster and Gelya Robb, who were behind the grammy-nominated Rave On Buddy Holly, you know it’s going to be worth adding on to your $4.85 tall skinny vanilla latte.
If you listen to Lykke Li’s music there is probably a couple things you might expect from it. It’s usually got a great tune that will probably make you want to dance, and the instrumentals are pretty unique in their choice and composition. So, listening to an acoustic cover of Lykke Li’s funky indie-alternative tune “I Follow Rivers” is a pretty rare treat. That’s exactly what Band of Skulls’ version is, a treat to Lykke Li and Skulls fans everywhere.