Mar 162012
 

In the past few weeks, we’ve seen something of a renaissance in Leonard Cohen covers. The trend continues today, with three new installments in Columbia Records’ Old Ideas With New Friends series.

A.C. Newman and friends perform quite a neat trick with “Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye.” They don’t change the song that much, although Newman brings a broader vocal range than Cohen; rather, they create a track that makes Cohen’s sound like the rendering, even when listening to the two in close comparison. They create something that sounds like an ages-old folk tune (which it is, in a sense, Cohen being perhaps the greatest bard of the twentieth century); they create a track that sounds like they took the pulpy orange juice of the original and, somehow, brought all of their collective talents to it to present to us a whole, unperforated, ripe orange, peel and all. Continue reading »

Feb 282011
 

We’ve told you about the Voice Project before. The non-profit supports efforts towards peace in North Uganda, helping in particular the women so often victimized in such conflicts. To spread the word, they record regular cover videos by well-known performers for their website. What’s the connection between cover songs and Uganda? Nothing – but a cover allows a site like ours to inform readers about their noble efforts, all while providing a great new tune. Win-win. Continue reading »

Feb 112011
 

To promote the launch of her fifth solo project, Mondo Amore, Nicole Atkins has been doing a lot of crying. The bluesy-rock album walks the oft-trod path of heartbreak, shedding tears most poignantly (and literally) in second track “Cry Cry Cry.” So it’s probably not surprising that when she stopped by the Rolling Stone offices to perform a few songs, she covered Roy Orbison’s “Crying.” At the top of the song, Atkins’ tips her hat to her grandma saying that she always wanted her to be a country singer. Atkin’s sugary vocals share that gloomy-quiver that’s present in the Orbison original and makes you believe in their heartbreak. Watch the video and download the MP3 below. Continue reading »

Nov 152010
 

Despite her folksy leanings, Nicole Atkins has a wild side when it comes to covers. In 2004, while playing a residency in her native Jersey, she got so sick of the constant Springsteen/Bon Jovi requests that one night a trashed Atkins performed a very irreverent “Livin’ on a Prayer.” She was not asked back.

Thankfully, her venture into krautrock sounds far more sober. Airplane-hanger drums and B3 organ blasts propel her version of Can’s “Vitamin C.” Originally on 1972’s Ege Bamyasi, “Vitamin C” retains its slinky bass line and gains a new sexiness to match. Atkins’ cover comes off her new Vultures 7”, which you can pick up here. (via Stereogum) Continue reading »