With the possible exception of Martin Scorsese, no movie director has been more closely identified with his soundtracks than Wes Anderson. He has consistently selected songs by well-known artists that, through no fault of their own, have become three-quarters forgotten over the years, and reintroduced them to the world as the classics they had always been. If someone calls a song a prime candidate for the next Wes Anderson soundtrack (Guilty!), an instant and accurate picture is created. The soundtracks show a cohesion that’s rare in these days of we-want-a-hit soundtracks, where the earmarked smash doesn’t play until the final credits have started rolling, and they have become high points in the experience of watching Anderson’s movies. Now the American Laundromat Records label has collected covers of some of those high points on I Saved Latin! A Tribute to Wes Anderson, resulting in the best tribute album of the year.
Adele dominated the cover song landscape in 2011, but Two-Aught-Twelve saw no similar galvanizing figure. Yes Lana Del Rey got covered a lot, but Leonard Cohen and Arcade Fire also seemed to garner an unexpected landslide of great covers (and speaking of landslides, so did Fleetwood Mac). “Call Me Maybe” was a huge hit that didn’t lead to much in the way of classic covers, and few seem to have even bothered attempting the Korean raps on “Gangnam Style.”
Which means that cover songs in 2012 were more diverse, ambitious, and left-field than ever before. A given YouTube search or Hype Machine browse would be as likely to turn up forgotten hits or underappreciated songwriters as it would the latest Top 40 smash. Find a sampling of all the diversity in Cover Me’s official Best Cover Songs of 2012 countdown. Start with #40-31 on the next page, and check back daily as we’ll be adding more til we hit #1.
Quickies rounds up new can’t-miss covers. Download ‘em below.
• In honor of the new year, Canadian dream-poppers Memoryhouse covered the Zombies’ inspiration anthem “This Will Be Our Year.” The duo posted, “I hope this song helps motivate you to lose 5 pounds, stop smoking, and watch less reality T.V. (or is that just me?)”
MP3: Memoryhouse – This Will Be Our Year (The Zombies cover)
Beachy buzz trio Tennis have a knack for picking just the right songs to cover. Back in June we heard them do Brenda Lee’s “Is It True” and they’ve just dropped another, a cover of “Tears in the Typing Pool.” Where Broadcast’s original was lo-fi and choppy, Tennis bring a lush sheen to this beautiful wash.
Zombies are just about the only creepy creatures that haven’t made an appearance on HBO’s supernatural soap opera True Blood. That situation will be remedied with the release of the season three soundtrack, which includes not one but two covers of the The Zombies‘ 1964 single “She’s Not There.” Nick Cave and Neko Case kicked off the season with their creepy take on the track, and now San Francisco indie rockers L’Avventura are offering an equally creepy but otherwise very different version.
America seems to be pretty much over the whole vampire craze, but True Blood returns Sunday night anyway and we’re glad it does. Why? Because the soundtrack features a cover of the Zombies’ “She’s Not There” from Nick Cave and Neko Case! If this is the show that recently rejected Delta Spirit’s cover of the same song, we see why they did so.
KCRW just premiered the track and you can listen over there. It’s more Cave than Case, dark and foreboding, menace seen through a slightly more polished lens. The tension keeps it interesting, though there may be one too many keyboard solos here.
Listen to Nick Cave and Neko Case’s “She’s Not There” over at KCRW. Update: Listen to the official stream below.
Nick Cave and Neko Case – She’s Not There (The Zombies cover)
California indie-rockers Delta Spirit showed off their cover skills with a set of Tom Waits renditions for Daytrotter recently, and now they’re back with their take on The Zombies’ classic brit-pop hit “She’s Not There.” According to their website, the band recorded the track at the request of an unnamed television show, but then decided to post it as a free download on their website instead.
If you follow new music releases, you probably know that the Foo Fighters‘ latest record, Wasting Light, greeted the world this past Tuesday. If you really follow new music releases, you might also know that the Foos put out a second, far more exclusive record last week — Medium Rare, a 13-track collection of covers spanning their career. This was part of the promotional juggernaut known as Record Store Day, an annual happening designed to drive fans into local record stores (if they happen to have one around!).