Just when you thought you heard this summer’s number-one hit “Watermelon Sugar” enough, British pop singer Anne-Marie spices up the song with a BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge cover. Harry Styles‘ original is a euphoric symphony of sounds, and Anne-Marie pairs it down. A cellist is a beautiful addition and the light shaker sound adds a nice flair. The cover holds on to the feeling of summer while even while the calendar slips into September.
If you’re a music and/or data nerd, journalist Rob Mitchum’s annual spreadsheet compiling the albums on every publication’s year-end lists is fascinating. Long before the Village Voice‘s Pazz & Jop poll comes out, you can see, mathematically, where the critical consensus is landing.
In 2018, most names in the upper echelons came as no surprise if you follow music journalism. But, to me, one name near the top stood out: IDLES. Though near the top, this British punk band appeared on far fewer publications’ year-end lists than the likes of Kacey Musgraves or Cardi B. But here’s the thing: When IDLES did appear, they ranked high. In fact, their album’s average year-end-list ranking was higher than anyone else in the top 50. They were either in someone’s top ten, or not there at all.
Recently, The Killers took to the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge to plug their upcoming album release. Fittingly, they coupled their new song “The Man” with an iconic, similarly egotistic hit by David Bowie. If you’ve heard The Killers’ new song, you might be able to guess the Bowie song that they seamlessly transition to. And what a transition.
“Fame” is an excellent fit for Brandon Flowers’ piercing tenor. His voice is as instantly recognizable as Bowie’s, and he sings the classic with the same gusto as the original. The band and back up singers are fully invested, covering every instrumental solo and breathy “Fame” that you anticipate.
It has been uplifting hearing the response of many famous artists to the devastation Hurricane Harvey has wreaked upon Houston. Coldplay recently gave a one time performance dedicated to those affected by the hurricane, and Paul Simon and his wife Edie Brickell donated $1 million to Harvey relief efforts. Tying the two together is Simon’s ’80s classic “Graceland,” recorded at the BBC’s Live Lounge by Coldplay frontman Chris Martin.
Full Albums features covers of every track off a classic album. Got an idea for a future pick? Leave a note in the comments!
Last night, to the surprise of no one, that Academy Award for Best Documentary went to the Amy Winehouse movie Amy. The movie, as is typical for these things, is more about the personality than the music; producers seem to think public breakdowns make for better visuals than the nitty gritty of work in the studio (a premise with which we strongly disagree). But still, if it gets some young Adele fan who wasn’t around for Adele’s predecessor to give Back to Black a listen, another exhaustive look at Winehouse’s demons was perhaps worth it.
We, however, are all about the music, which we celebrate today with the latest in our series of Full Album cover sets. Though as is always the case the big hits have way more covers than the deep cuts, it’s a testament to how deep the album’s bench is that every song has been given at least one cover worthy of Amy’s talent.
The beautiful synth pop from the band CHVRCHES often plays on the disconnect between singer Lauren Mayberry’s sweet vocals and heavy, almost industrial, backing tracks. It’s not the most obvious cover material for Muse, a band spawned out of the mid-’90s alt rock movement, but Muse recently played a cover of CHVRCHES’ “Lies” for the BBC Live Lounge.