Mar 242011

YouTube is filled with amateur cover “artists.” Most stink. On the ‘Tube extracts the exceptions.

Classical music cover songs have a bad reputation. Relegated to elevator music and background noise while watching the local weather forecast, no one is really paying attention. However, classically trained French pianist Maxence Cyrin wants to change all that.

Cyrin grew up studying classical music in eastern France, but after moving to Paris at the age of 25, he was introduced to the sounds of American legends such as Elvis Presley and The Beach Boys. Cyrin soon realized that he could take his love for popular and classical music and fuse the two to form a hybrid. The result is surprisingly beautiful and highly listenable. Continue reading »

Jan 272011

YouTube is filled with amateur cover “artists.” Most stink. On the ‘Tube extracts the exceptions.

Although he hasn’t been making music too long, Miami alternative rocker/singer-songwriter Tristan Clopet has stacked up a lot of assets.  His voice percolates with soul, and his wailing guitar should make many in the indie world jealous. Clopet has to this point released two EPs of original material: 2009’s Duende and 2010’s Purple, discs which skillfully blend potentially irreconcilable influences into a fresh, exciting creation.

Clopet has also not shied away from paying homage to his influences. To do so, he’s masterminded a semi-regular YouTube covers feature entitled “The Living Room Series.” “I record [the covers] in my studio at home,” Clopet told us, “and [I] want the fans to see me as I am at home.” Indeed, often Clopet’s performances achieve a “fireside chat” level of intimacy that’d make FDR jealous. That doesn’t stop him, though, from occasionally layering on multiple instruments and bringing in his buddy Dan Hammler to smack some drums. Continue reading »

Dec 212010

YouTube is filled with amateur cover “artists.” Most stink. On the ‘Tube extracts the exceptions.

Our series continues today with college student Kiersten Holine, who has an addictive set of covers on her YouTube channel. You come for her impressive repertoire of songs, but you stay for her poignant and impassioned vocals. Holine decided to post her first video in 2007 and was overwhelmed by the great feedback she received from her online fans. 600,000 viewers can’t be wrong, can they? [Editor’s note: Ke$ha’s newest video has 1,500,000 views. ‘Nuff said.] Holine will let you in to the privacy of her room to get caught up in the emotion of her covers.

Holine bares her heart and soul on covers of folks like The Beatles, Bon Iver, and Wilco. “If a song hits me hard emotionally and melodically, I have to try to play it,” she tells Cover Me. “Every song I’ve chosen has meant quite a bit to me.” Her favorite cover to play is Feist’s “The Park,” and while watching her play it you can’t help but notice her connection to it. Continue reading »

Aug 302010

YouTube is filled with amateur cover “artists.” Most stink. On the ‘Tube extracts the exceptions.

We kick off a new Cover Me series today with Jordan Corey. A U.C. Santa Barbara sociology major, Corey posts cover videos to YouTube just like thousands of other wannabe viral stars. Only one difference: she’s really good. A big-voiced belter, Corey straddles the line between old-school soul and American Idol. Some serious pipes for a skinny white girl.

Accompanied by an old theater buddy on guitar, Corey’s releasing a series of stripped-down home recordings. Her wails and whispers take center stage as she belts tunes from the worlds of pop (Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars), classic rock (Fleetwood Mac, the Beatles), and new soul (Adele, Amy Winehouse). We’ve got three of the best below, including the premiere of her cover of La Roux’s “Bulletproof.” She describes her version as “a little more rustic, a little more raw.” Often on YouTube that translates into “off-key karaoke filmed with a cell phone.” Corey’s a refreshing exception. Continue reading »