Dec 162011

When people look back in 2011 in music a decade from now, one name will come to mind: Adele. In our little world of cover songs, she dominated. Everyone covered Adele this year. It’s not just that we saw more covers of “Rolling in the Deep” than any other song; they beat out second place (probably “Pumped Up Kicks”) by like a factor of five! We generally try to look for larger cover trends in these annual wrap-ups, but it’s hard to remember anything else from this year except the year-long onslaught of Adele covers hitting our mailbox.

There’s only one “Rolling in the Deep” cover in this year’s list though. The rest are all over the place. Some of the artists listed built their covers with lush soundscapes, thick beats, and intricate string work. Others just took guitars or pianos and bowled us over with the emotion in their voices. There may not be much of an overarching “Year in Covers” narrative, but that means there’s a cover or two for everyone. From feel-good takes on rap songs to kill-yourself versions of pop songs, this year’s list features flips, flops, and genre switcheroos of all sorts. A good cover should be informed by the source material but stand on its own, and we’ll be unrolling the 50 finest examples of songs doing just that all week. Start with #50-41 on the next page and check back daily as we count down to the best cover of 2011.

If you slept on Revolver last year, it’s time to wake up (#whoisarcadefire). Their breathtaking Music for a While showcased the Parisian trio’s strong melodic instincts and the cover we watched them sing last August delivered their strongest harmonies to date. Well, today’s premiere combines both strengths. It’s an ABBA song presented in an unassuming vocal arrangement. Continue reading »

This past Tuesday, French trio Revolver’s Music for a While dropped stateside. To promote the release, the band released a video of them singing the Mills Brothers’ 1930s jazz standard “Nevertheless (I’m in Love With You).” Calling it pretty doesn’t do it justice; calling it utterly gorgeous merely states the obvious.

You may never have heard of Revolver. You may never have heard of the Mills Brothers either. Doesn’t matter. You’ve just got to hear this. Recorded in a warehouse, the group’s tricky harmonies require nothing more than a quietly strummed guitar to soar. (via Filter) Continue reading »

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