This past week, super trio Sufjan Stevens, The National’s Bryce Dessner, and Nico Muhly performed some of their planetary themed songs for the Sydney Vivid Festival. Toward the end of the night, Sufjan Stevens played a solo cover of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Apropos of the galaxy-like theme, Sufjan told the audience that he always thought the song was about outer space, although he now thinks it’s about Australia.
Happy Valentine’s Day! To get you in the romantic spirit, Cat Martino has put together some love-ly covers for the occasion and we’re pleased to premiere one here. The New York songwriter – and band member for Sufjan Stevens and Sharon Van Etten – delivers a lo-fi version of Madonna‘s “Into the Groove” that will get you in that seductive mood. Here’s info about the cover and project:
This Week on Bandcamp rounds up our favorite covers to hit the site in the past seven days.
It’s been a few weeks since we’ve checked in with the covers popping up on Bandcamp, but from the looks of it, the good material didn’t stop over the holiday break. So in lieu of the bedroom acoustic songs we often hear, we cherry-picked out some more thoughtful, complex productions from the surplus. Download ’em all below.
Last month, we posted our Best Cover EPs of 2011. Getting an early start on next year’s list, two artists, both from Cali, posted knockout EPs in the past week and they’re both free to download.
When we think back to this year, we might remember 2011 as the year that the whole concept of the “cover album” became more fluid, and not always for the better. Thanks to the increased prominence of sites like Bandcamp and Soundcloud, a cover album could be conceived, recorded, and shared in the space of a weekend. This didn’t necessarily lead to better cover albums, but it certainly led to more of them. They came in all formats – digital, CD, vinyl, and even cassette-only – and from all directions – labels, blogs, and even some magazines.
Which, we like to think, makes this list that much more helpful. In a year where the biggest single-artist cover album we got came from William Shatner, it proved a particular challenge to dig through the many obscure artists and assorted tributes and extract the gems. Gems there certainly were though, be they from newcomers making an impression with their favorite songs or old-timers honoring groups that influenced them decades ago. It may have taken a bit more work to find them, but the end result is as strong a selection as we’ve seen.
Continue to page 2 to read the list…
They Say It’s Your Birthday celebrates an artist’s special day with other people singing his or her songs. Let others do the work for a while. Happy birthday!
Joni Mitchell turns 68 today and, in terms of influence, her star burns as bright as ever. As folk stages its umpteenth popular revival, a whole new generation of folkies, freak-folkies, neofolkies, and indie folkies have taken lessons from decades of her simple, heart-wrenching songs. Dozen of hip, Pitchfork-approved artists namecheck Mitchell in interviews and display an obvious debt in their songs. On Joni’s birthday, we pay tribute to her through some of their tributes.