Mar 302011

In the Spotlight showcases a cross-section of an artist’s cover work. View past installments, then post suggestions for future picks in the comments!

Florence + the Machine songstress Florence Welch recently capped off a breakout year with performances at the Grammys and Oscars. Considering her affinity for covers, it’s appropriate that she took on Aretha Franklin’sThink” at the Grammys and handled Dido’s part with Best Song nominee A.R. Rahman at the Oscars. Florence + the Machine’s debut, Lungs, arrived less than two years ago, but Welch has already performed more covers than some musicians do in decades. Here are a few highlights, from Florence solo and with the help of her band the Machine. Continue reading »

Nov 152010

Benji Tranter is a fresh-faced singer-songwriter from Hereford (U.K.), which he describes as “a small hamlet which not ever so many people have heard of.” Here, Tranter decided to cover the Mystery Jets, an excellent band from London that not so ever many people in the US have heard about. A sad situation that needs to be addressed immediately. If you are unfamiliar with the Mystery Jets, check out their YouTube channel to catch up.

Obviously, Tranter is a big Mystery Jets fan, but why choose “Hand Me Down?” Tranter says: “When I heard this song I could hear another side to it through the lyrics, which I felt that I could bring to the song through an acoustic version, because essentially it’s quite a sad song.” The spare arrangement and ethereal backing vocals invite the listener to focus on the song’s painful lyrics in a way the original did not. Benji Tranter wanted to show another side of the Mystery Jets’ “Hand Me Down” and he succeeded, spectacularly. Continue reading »