May 062011

This Week on Bandcamp rounds up our favorite covers to hit the site in the past seven days.

Welcome to the latest Bandcamp roundup! After last week’s Wiz Khalifa double-header, we’re back to the usual five songs/five artists format. Two ‘80s cuts by Prince and Cyndi Lauper pair with two more recent tracks by Deerhunter and Queens of the Stone Age. And then there’s a cover of the Twilight guy, which…well, you’ll see.

On his Pop Lockin’ Vol. 2, Dave Williams puts a hip-hop-informed jazz spin on songs by Stevie Wonder, Simply Red, Black Sabbath, and more. “The Beautiful Ones” finds him sprucing up Prince’s Purple Rain classic with some funky drum patterns and programming. All that soon plays second-fiddle to his somewhat avant-garde saxophone run through the melody.

Queens of the Stone Age Rated R funk-stomper “The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret” becomes a quiet weeper in the hands of French folkies Yeepee. With whispered delivery and delicate xylophone, these guys sound like they’re telling you a secret themselves.

This relatively straightforward cover of Cyndi Lauper’s human-rights anthem shimmers with crystalline production and a strong vocal delivery. Also worth hearing: his version of “Crazy Train,” which puts a dance beat behind Ozzy Osbourne’s vocal track.

Did you know teenybopper-beloved Robert Pattinson was a singer/songwriter before he was Twilight’s brooding vampire? Yeah, us neither. Turns out he was decent too! This song, though, was actually written by a few friends from his days performing in pubs. He recorded it as a bonus track to one of the Twilight soundtracks. We prefer it with this rural Shropshire accent though.

Deerhunter’s Halycon Digest was rated one of the best albums of 2010 by the likes of SPIN, NPR, and Pitchfork. Pitchfork described first single “Helicopter” as “a beautifully watery electro-acoustic farewell that uses a tragic Dennis Cooper story about a Russian prostitute…to support its emotional bleakness.” We don’t know about all that, but this hazy dreampop builder hits hard with some beautiful vocal lines.

Check out previous installments here.

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