Apr 192017
 
screaming females neil young

Neil Young recently cancelled his Pearl Jam Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction speech due to illness (he’s reportedly fine now). While he takes a break though, new Neil covers keep rolling in. Two particularly great ones have surfaced in the last month, tacking a pair of Young’s loudest and most fiery songs.

First up, composer Teho Teardo and singer Blixa Bargeld (of Einstürzende Neubauten/Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds fame) cover “Hey Hey, My My” on their new EP together Fall. A weird and wonderful production, it brings together bass clarinet, musical saw, and a six-piece string section under Bargeld’s mesmerizing line readings. It’s one of the best Neil covers we’ve heard in recent years, surprising and unexpected. Continue reading »

Feb 112016
 
radiochaser-selena-gomez-hands-to-myself-demix-cover-2016

If pop songs could die, this is what I imagine their souls would sound like.

Those are the only guiding words enigmatic artist Radiochaser offers on his social media pages – and with that single sentence, he perfectly encapsulates the nature of his music.

Rather than keep the blaring feel-good vibes of the tunes he covers, the NY-based musician opts for exposing the raw emotion behind each piece, expertly stripping them down and reworking them into a haunting blend of stirring guitar acoustics and serene, ghostly vocals – resulting in chilling covers of Taylor Swift, Carly Rae Jepsen and Selena Gomez in the style of a Radical Face or Bon Iver track.

Piqued your interest? Radiochaser has mine. Continue reading »

Dec 112015
 

Follow all our Best of 2015 coverage (along with previous year-end lists) here.

BestCoverAlbums2015-575

Everywhere but here, the world of cover and tribute albums tends to be a sleepy one. Most years our “Best Cover Albums” list is composed of records that either flew totally under the radar or, at best, earned a few news posts on music blogs. There’s the “all star” tribute albums that make a brief mark before being largely forgotten. And there’s the big-name artists whose cover albums get seen as a side project before their next “real” albums. That’s just the lot you sign up for when you release an album of cover songs most years.

But most years don’t have Ryan Adams. Continue reading »

Sep 252015
 

1989Last year, when Ryan Adams released “Gimme Something Good,” the first single from his self-titled album, my first thought was this: That chorus sounds a LOT like “Mine” by Taylor Swift.

Even though they do sound similar, the thought of Ryan Adams – a guy known for intense genre-hopping, releasing albums like a song factory, and being an all around cool guy – being a Taylor Swift fan seemed unlikely.

Apparently, he’s a fan. Enough of a fan to cover her newest record, 1989, in its entirety.
Continue reading »

Aug 152013
 

While it’s probably the biggest stretch your mind will have to make today, try to imagine Taylor Swift’s poppy, catchy, sugary “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” as an agonizing, melancholic, slow jam of a song sung with grungy guitar and vocals. Then imagine that you might kind of like the grungy side of Taylor Swift (pretty sure those words have never been written before). Then imagine that this actually happened. Continue reading »

Jul 022013
 

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!

For a generation of teenage girls growing up in the early part of the 00s, Michelle Branch served as both counselor and inspirational figure. Her dulcet acoustic melodies salved many a broken heart and unlike the Britney-Christina-Jessica troika – she was not blonde, she wrote her own songs and she played her own instrument. Continue reading »