Still Woozy’s new take on MGMT’s “Electric Feel” may not shock you like an electric eel, but it will beckon you with its funky melody and warm embrace. Rather than sliding in on an explosive opening note, the familiar tune arrives subtly on the strings of an acoustic guitar. Harmony is added through a delicate piano adding mostly to the ambiance and feel of the song. The bassline and drums cannonball into the tune filling out the instrumental set. “Electric Feel” pulses forward infectiously, and Still Woozy smooths out some of the jauntiness of the song and tightens some of the pauses in vocals.
Matt and Kim didn’t plan on covering I Monster’s “The Blue Wrath.” So why did they? To fix an Instagram video they had posted with the original version of the song. That first video was removed, after getting caught up in the social media copyright monitoring systems. So Matt and Kim created a cover to use when they reposted the video. In the post, they say, “Insta took this video down before because of a copyright claim on the song, so I figured ima ‘musician…’ I’m stuck at home… I’ll make a cover of it and put it back up! Don’t try me!”
Years & Years, with their pop-synth 80s-inspired tunes and Olly Alexander’s melismatic vocals, seem to be the perfect candidate to cover the lush synth rhythms of the Pet Shop Boys. But Years & Years recent cover of “It’s a Sin,” rather than mirroring the Pet Shop sound, offers a minimalist rendition. The song feels right at home in a solo piano cover, adding to the slight desperation and mournfulness embedded in the song.
On the upcoming David Bowie tribute album Modern Love (out May 28), We Are KING softens “Space Oddity” with their new cover for the Modern Love Tribute Album. Assembled by DJ Drew McFadden and BBE label founder Peter Adarkwah, the album shifts the focus to the influence of Black music in Bowie’s sonic style. Other artists featured on the album include Khruangbin, L’Rain, Meshell Ndegeocello, Bullion, and more. In a statement, McFadden spoke of how he “felt that connection between Bowie and R&B, jazz, funk, gospel, and all things soulful.”
If you are currently binge-watching the Netflix show Bridgerton, yes, that was an orchestral cover of Ariana Grande’s “Thank u, next” you heard. The soundtrack to Bridgerton,a Shonda Rhimes 1800s period piece filled with wealth, lust, and betrayal, is overseen by composer and musician Kris Bowers. Bowers worked with Alexandra Patsavas, who is responsible for the six pop covers scattered through the series. Patsavas told Parade “the choices and their respective placements are each very deliberate, and that the Grande and Swift covers specifically ‘were able to tell the musical story and amplify a female perspective.”
A virtual festival celebrating the music of Cat Stevens aired on YouTube on December 5 with 42 different artists covering his songs. Passenger did “Father and Son,” James Morrison did “The Wind” and Imelda May did “How Can I Tell You.” Rock trio Haim, who have received quite a bit of positive attention this year for their third album Women in Music Part III, was the second act to perform, delivering a beautiful acoustic cover of “Hard Headed Woman.”