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Feb 272019
 
unwoman david bowie

For a cellist who frequently covers new wave, goth, and art-rock songs, David Bowie’s “Heroes” would seem one of the more obvious song selections. But San Francisco’s Erica Mulkey, who performs as Unwoman and appears regularly at sci-fi and steampunk conventions, says she resisted “Heroes” for years. Though one of her favorite songs, it seemed too obvious, and too often covered. Hard to find a fresh way to do it, especially after his passing. But backers on her Patreon pushed her to do it, and she ended up happy they did. Continue reading »

Apr 172013
 

We named San Francisco cellist Unwoman’s Uncovered the second best covers album of 2011 and next week, she releases the sequel Lemniscate: Uncovered Volume 2. She loops cello and vocal parts to make dark symphonies out of songs by MGMT and Amanda Palmer. We’re excited to premiere a highlight, her version of fellow big-voiced temptress Florence and the Machine. Continue reading »

Aug 192011
 

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

This week’s set puts goth cello up against grunge noise, orchestral pomp against folksy throwback. It also features a couple familiar faces. Download our favorite Bandcamp tracks this week below. Continue reading »

Jun 102011
 

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

Something of a dreamy electronic feel in today’s bunch. Hazy beats and watery synth burble along under most of these tracks in the service of what is, in several cases, really a folk aesthetic underneath. As the temperatures rise, these sounds soundtrack those moments sitting under the sun in a half-awake daze when it’s too hot to move. Well, except for the Tom Waits cover, which is a different approach from a familiar name. Continue reading »

Feb 042011
 

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

Once again we delve back into Bandcamp to find the week’s top free covers. There’s a bit of an ’80s theme today, with covers of songs from Pixies, the Cure, and Wham! The two that round them out buck the trend a bit: a Buffy Sainte-Marie song from 1963 and a Dirty Projectors song from 2004. The average of 1963 and 2004 is 1983 though, so there you go! Continue reading »

Dec 142020
 

Follow all our Best of 2020 coverage (along with previous year-end lists) here.

best tribute albums 2020

It’s hard not to look at everything in 2020 through the mirror of the pandemic, and a few of the records on our list can be traced directly to it. One artist used her time in lockdown to cover every song on Radiohead’s The Bends, while another did the same thing with Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On. An indie label pulled together a tribute to one of the many great artists tragically taken by this goddamn virus, Fountains of Wayne’s Adam Schlesinger. Hal Willner’s long-in-the-works T. Rex tribute album wasn’t supposed to have anything to do with current events, but Willner, too, died of COVID-19 in the spring.

That being said, the majority of the albums on our list have nothing to do with the news. Any year’s a good year for covering obscure Neil Young songs. And if you want to try to tie 28 different bands covering Blink-182’s “Dammit” to 2020, good luck. Even the klezmer-cabaret artist who recorded an album covering the recently deceased released it March 13, just before she’d unfortunately have many more names to add to her list.

In a way though, the whole concept of the covers record is appropriate for a bleak year. They’re all about paying tribute in some way or another, lifting up influences or even guilty pleasures, honoring those that came before. You can listen to these through that prism if you like. Or you can just take a break from thinking about such things and listen to 28 covers of “Dammit.”

– Ray Padgett, Editor-in-Chief

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