Jan 292020

Welcome to Cover Me Q&A, where we take your questions about cover songs and answer them to the best of our ability.

song at your funeral

Here at Cover Me Q&A, we’ll be taking questions about cover songs and giving as many different answers as we can. This will give us a chance to hold forth on covers we might not otherwise get to talk about, to give Cover Me readers a chance to learn more about individual staffers’ tastes and writing styles, and to provide an opportunity for some back-and-forth, as we’ll be taking requests (learn how to do so at feature’s end).

Today’s question: What’s your favorite cover of a one-hit wonder?
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Nov 032017

In October, I held the first release event for the Cover Me book at Paste Magazine’s New York studios, featuring performances by Eli Paperboy Reed, Emel Mathlouthi, and Anthony D’Amato (watch them all here!). And this week I held the second, at Phoenix Books in my old hometown of Burlington, Vermont. The concept was similar: rather than a dry book talk, I would combine some conversation with live covers of songs from the book.

Two of my favorite local bands, Swale and Madaila – both of which I’ve posted about here before – stepped up with some amazing performances. And luckily, like at Paste, we’ve got footage. (More amateur-quality footage, admittedly – iPhones at a bookstore rather than multi-cam at Paste’s recording studio – but the performances are every bit as stunning.)

Swale kicked things off with a tender trio take on “Unchained Melody,” the Righteous Brothers hit first recorded as the theme for the now-forgotten 1955 prison move Unchained. Bobby Hatfield left a pretty high bar for a vocalist to hit, but Swale’s Amanda Gustafson easily cleared it while Eric Olsen (guitar) and Tyler Bolles (bass) gave her a stripped-down acoustic backing. Continue reading »

Dec 062011

I have no hard data to back this up, but I suspect that EPs play a larger role in the world of cover songs than they do elsewhere. In the wider world, EPs tend to be an afterthought, a set of rejects or remixes that may or may not be worthwhile. People pay little attention to EPs, and artists act accordingly, saving their real statements for the full-lengths. In our world, though, we see as many EPs as we do proper albums, and they’re every bit as good. An artist may hesitate to put out a “cover album” – still a loaded term in some circles – but in the age of Garageband and Bandcamp, it’s only too easy to record a half dozen covers and toss ‘em out between albums. Therefore, in honor of the EP’s prominence in our world, we present our favorite EPs of 2011 (with an MP3 from each). Continue reading »

Sep 272011

As we’ve mentioned, Vermont locals Chamberlin have been working on an EP of stripped-down covers, involving their fans in the process by holding a contest to choose the tracklist and releasing their versions of Passion Pit’s “Little Secrets” and Kanye West’s “Lost in The World” ahead of time. They’ve just released the finished product for purchase, rounding off the 5-song set with their takes on “Go Outside” by Cults, “Giving Up The Gun” by Vampire Weekend, and “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster the People. Named the Cabin Covers EP after the rural home where they recorded it, the record has taken on a humanitarian role. Hurricane Irene flooded much of the area around the cabin during the recording process and the band decided to donate all the proceeds from the EP to relief efforts. In true Vermont fashion, you can buy the EP alone or bundled with a pound of dark roast coffee Continue reading »

Sep 162011

In a project that we’re keeping a close eye on here at Cover Me, Vermont-based folk outfit Chamberlin is putting together an EP of covers that they asked fans to help choose on their website. The voting period ended at the beginning of this week, but you can still check out the contest page to see the eight possible songs, four of which will be chosen for the release. The fruits of their labor are now starting to appear, with their version of Kanye West’s “Lost In The World” hitting the internet this week. Continue reading »

Aug 312011

Based out of a cabin in Goshen, VT, roots-rockers Chamberlin are undertaking a new project that will eventually lead to an EP of covers, and with the help of a few prize-providing sponsors they’ve turned the process of song selection into a contest for their fans. On the website devoted to the contest, fans are invited to pick four songs (out of eight choices) to be recorded in the band’s unique style for the EP. The choices skew towards the Indie rock scene, with songs by Beach House, Vampire Weekend, Neon Indian, and Peter Bjorn and John, as well as Kanye West and Bon Iver’s “Lost in The World” and Foster The People’s summer hit “Pumped Up Kicks.” Simply voting in the contest wins you a digital copy of the finished EP and a download of the band’s current single, which definitely seems worth the twenty seconds it takes to participate. Continue reading »