Dec 162011

When people look back in 2011 in music a decade from now, one name will come to mind: Adele. In our little world of cover songs, she dominated. Everyone covered Adele this year. It’s not just that we saw more covers of “Rolling in the Deep” than any other song; they beat out second place (probably “Pumped Up Kicks”) by like a factor of five! We generally try to look for larger cover trends in these annual wrap-ups, but it’s hard to remember anything else from this year except the year-long onslaught of Adele covers hitting our mailbox.

There’s only one “Rolling in the Deep” cover in this year’s list though. The rest are all over the place. Some of the artists listed built their covers with lush soundscapes, thick beats, and intricate string work. Others just took guitars or pianos and bowled us over with the emotion in their voices. There may not be much of an overarching “Year in Covers” narrative, but that means there’s a cover or two for everyone. From feel-good takes on rap songs to kill-yourself versions of pop songs, this year’s list features flips, flops, and genre switcheroos of all sorts. A good cover should be informed by the source material but stand on its own, and we’ll be unrolling the 50 finest examples of songs doing just that all week. Start with #50-41 on the next page and check back daily as we count down to the best cover of 2011.

Oct 062011

Copenhagen-born singer-songwriter Oh Land is no stranger to indie covers. Earlier this year she took on Fleet Foxes’ “White Winter Hymnal,” and this week she found time in her busy schedule touring with Katy Perry to take on The National’s “Bloodbuzz Ohio.” Like “Hymnal,” her cover of “Bloodbuzz” brightens up the original track significantly. Continue reading »

Feb 022011

“White Winter Hymnal,” by Fleet Foxes, is a song that deserves its title, being at once joyful and serene. Where the original reminds you of a snow-covered landscape, though, Oh Land’s new cover of the song feels more like running through the woods as the snow melts and the sun begins to break through. The cover replaces the acoustic guitar rhythm with a persistent, heavy drumbeat and its pace gradually escalates. The alterations come together beautifully and bring a fitting energy to the song. Continue reading »