Under the Radar shines a light on lesser-known cover artists. If you’re not listening to these folks, you should. Catch up on past installments here.

Camera Obscura have carved out a reputation as standard bearers of Scottish independent music, continuing the good work of the mighty Belle & Sebastian by flying the flag for Glaswegian culture since the late ‘90s. Renowned for their trademark tuneful indiepop, mixing lo-fi vocals and a dash of melancholy with retro flavours of ‘60s Motown and the occasional splash of country, it’s unsurprising that they are a goldmine for unexpectedly brilliant covers. Continue reading »

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the release of the Phil Spector collection Back to Mono (1958–1969), the landmark set that compiles all of the early productions by the one-in-a-million wunderkind. Phil Spector’s abhorrent personal life and criminal history notwithstanding, the man’s influence on American music is indisputable.

So much in music circles back to this now-infamous sociopath. Music seems to channel Spector now more than ever: She and Him spearhead a resurgence of doo-wop sounds; Best Coast rebuild the Wall of Sound in fuzzier, shoegaze form; and, while it is no longer 1999, there are still millions of teenage generations to come that will have to see Top Gun and download the song all over again. So let’s celebrate the music that defined a generation and changed the landscape of popular American music forever. Here are five of the most well-known and oft-cited covers of classic Phil Spector productions. Old and new, these tracks have contributed to the ongoing resurrection of the Wall of Sound. Continue reading »

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