Jul 132017
gavin castleton

We’ve written about Rhode Island songwriter/producer Gavin Castleton a few times over the years, spotlighting his airy and enjoyable covers of Peter Gabriel, Frank Ocean, and the Twin Peaks theme. But that didn’t prepare us for his newest, a hard-hitting and powerfully charged of Billie Holiday’s harrowing song about lynching, “Strange Fruit.”

One reason for our surprise is that Castleton recruited another Cover Me favorite to sing: Rescue of funk-rock band Bad Rabbits (hear them covering Smashing Pumpkins and Michael Jackson). Rescue delivers one of the most powerful vocals we’ve heard this year, lurching from aggressive pummel to wavering falsetto. And it blends perfectly with Castleton’s thudding electronic production, spare and unrelenting in a way that won’t let you turn away. Continue reading »

May 052011

Oftentimes, it’s hard to love a faithful cover. One might wonder, “if it’s so close to the original, why shouldn’t I just listen to the original?” It’s a difficult position to argue against, especially for those of us who listen to more than our fair share of covers. Most of the time, a perfect replication of rhythm and tune and even those tiny little sound effects that give a song some of its nostalgia in our memory does add up nothing more than impressive mimicry. Continue reading »

Feb 242011

Michael Jackson‘s death almost two years ago has led to a resurgence of interest in his music, and, not coincidentally, a glut of covers. Unfortunately, not everyone can pull off a tribute to The King of Pop. Boston’s Bad Rabbits, though, take “Human Nature” from the Thriller album and turn it from soft rock into a spaced-out funk tune. The ’80s synths are replaced with crisp, swirling keys, the reverb is gone, and lead singer Dua Boakye showcases a great falsetto. Continue reading »