What kind of songs do you think an indie folk duo from Toronto that describe themselves as a “cookie-tin pedal enthusiast …[and a] purveyor of ghost-noises” would cover? Robyn? The Beach Boys? Luckily, yes and yes!
Follow all our Best of 2014 coverage (along with previous year-end lists) here.
Back when we redesigned the site in 2010, we created basic star icons to represent the ratings we’d give an album when we reviewed it. 2 stars, 3.5 stars, etc. When we posted an album review, we’d find the corresponding icon where we last uploaded it. However, earlier this year we couldn’t find one of the icons we were looking for. Why? It turns out we’d never used it. We’d never before given an album a perfect five stars.
This year, for the first time, we did. Which should suffice to say it’s been an excellent year for cover albums. True, a few of the marquee tributes we most eagerly anticipated fell flat, either too formulaic (The Art of McCartney) or too out-there (that Flaming Lips’ Sgt. Peppers tribute we’ll never speak of again). But in the cracks and under the radar, cover and tribute albums thrived.
In our list of the twenty best, we’ve got everything from big names on major labels to DIY projects thrown up on Bandcamp. We’ve got New Orleans jazz, Parisian dub reggae, and songs that were popular when your great-great-great-great grandfather was calling town dances. Something for everyone, I guess. Something for all our fwends (sorry, that was the last time, promise).
Start the countdown on Page 2…
A musical group that has been described as a sort of “warm and fuzzy” emo band may not immediately sound like the type of group to cover a Robyn song. Chicago-based Kittyhawk, however, has not only managed to cover Robyn’s highly danceable hit, but has done so in an adorable and charming manner for Space Jam Sessions.
Kings of Leon are no stranger to the cover game. After releasing their single “Use Somebody,” almost everyone and their moms covered the tune. In support of their soon-to-be-released album, Mechanical Bull, the band decided to do a cover another song that seems to get a new rendition every other week, Robyn‘s “Dancing On My Own.”
If you have been lucky enough to see Carousel in the past, you know they do a dope rendition of Robyn‘s “Dancing On My Own.” For those of you who have not even heard of the dance duo, prepare yourself for a refined, lovely studio version of the cover.
The best part of The AV Club Undercover series, aside from the fact that it deals solely in covers, is how the artists that take part in the series more often than not dabble in genres that they are not exactly known for. Take Nashville’s Night Beds, for example. The ethereal, alt-rock-country band just took on synth pop dance-queen Robyn‘s “Dancing On My Own.” The two styles of music are more in line than you’d think.