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. Continue reading »
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.
Quickies rounds up new can’t-miss covers. Download ‘em below.
• Frequent cover champ Benjamin Francis Leftwich takes a giant leap away from the singer-songwriter source material he often gravitates towards, bringing his echoing vocals and distant guitar to M83’s “Midnight City.” He also covers INXS and Frightened Rabbit, which you can download on his website.
MP3: Benjamin Francis Leftwich – Midnight City (M83 cover) Continue reading »
To cover elitists, there is a clear-cut difference between a cover of something and simply mashing up a song with one of the artist’s own (see: every other Top 40 song that features the chorus of an ’80s song.) It’s a seemingly impossible line to straddle. Mr. & Mrs. Fox manage to achieve the impossible with their brilliant cover mash-up of M83’s “Midnight City” and Simple Minds’ “Don’t You (Forget About Me).” Continue reading »
Electronic duo/producer team The Knocks are experts at making their mark on the work of other artists. They’ve crafted remixes for big names like Katy Perry and Britney Spears. They also create original music, and their latest production, a cover of M83’s single “Midnight City,” infuses the track with the polished electronic style of their own work. The NYC-based pair enlist vocalist Mandy Lee to round out their cover. Continue reading »
After a three year break from the music scene, Anthony Gonzalez, aka M83, came back with a bang, creating the song that topped so many Best of 2011 lists, “Midnight City.” Covers of this song have been numerous, with Trails and Ways even ending up on our very own “Best Of” list. Since we’re only a few weeks into 2012, it’s only fitting that more covers of this song are still being produced, such as Emil & Friends’ bizarre take. Continue reading »
As you are surely aware, all week we are meticulously counting down the Best Cover Songs of 2011. While we do that list, though, other publications have been putting out their own best songs list. There is no firm consensus for #1, but we are seeing many of the same tracks pop up over and over again. So we tossed together a set of the best free covers of the best songs of the year. Continue reading »
Tokyo Police Club finished their “10 Songs, 10 Days, 10 Hours, 10 Years” series over the weekend with five more covers. We’ve already heard them tackle everyone from Moby to the Strokes and that diversity holds for the final set. They start with Phoenix, end with Miley Cyrus, and tackle LCD Soundsystem, M83, and Harlem Shakes in between. Continue reading »