Jun 172011

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

Today’s Bandcamp feature (our 20th) takes an unexpected theme: girl power! Four of the five songs at least come from female artists or lady-fronted bands. They range from icons embodying the spirit of rock in a female frame (Beth Gibbons of Portishead) to groups who embody something less than the feminist ideal (the appropriately-named Sugababes). And then there’s a song originally by Big Star, who represent none of these things, but just couldn’t be skipped.

Remember Garbage? The Wisconsin quartet owned the late ‘90s with “edgy” alt-rock, then fizzled around the turn of the century. They’re supposedly making a comeback this year (we’ll see), but until then, Jay Sharp’s chaotic ambient version of 1995’s “Milk” should tide you over.

An album cut from Portishead’s 1994 debut Dummy, “Wandering Star” thuds along ominously while Beth Gibbon’s breathy vocals shimmer overtop. Well, not here. Seattle trio SAYS rocks a little harder, nodding at their grunge heritage while aiming for Muse-style electronic grandeur.

Ashley Robyn’s solo electric cover of Björk’s “Pagan Poetry” strips away the weirdness, leaving the attitude intact. A simple, but effective performance, with Robyn’s vaguely gospel-tinged vocals leading the way.

Alex Chilton died over a year ago, but the Big Star covers aren’t letting up. Don’t hold your breath. Sea States’ cover of the band’s biggest hit finds the midpoint between jangly guitars and hazy atmospherics. It will haunt you if you let it.

The Sugababes may seem more disposable than the other ladies on this list, but get this: in 2006, the Guinness Book of World Records ranked them the most successful female act of the 21st century. This Glasgow punk band shows no such reverence, roaring through the pop hit with abandon.

Check out previous installments here.

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