Cover songs are still my favorite way for emerging bands to put their own sound on a hit song and get easy attention. However 2012 was for some reason a slow year for cover songs. Luckily a handful of bands did them well and left us with flipped and twisted takes on old classics and net hits alike. Here are my 10 favorites (#1 at the bottom). What did I miss? Read more
should find a faster train, a taxi in the rain, i should be laying now with you in a bed somehow
I don’t know how I missed this new mega dance jam by Tel Aviv favorites The Young Professionals but I’m making up for lost time with repeated listens now. This oversized and infectious love banger also come with a video made of fan photos inspired by the lyrics. And there is also their great Lana Del Rey cover that I also somehow have never posted. I’m sorry.
i know you’re running away, yeah in your past there’s a ghost and he’s following
- Who: Travis, Nick, Matt, Mikel, Rico
- What: Indie pop rock , like Northstar, Saves The Day, Moneen
- Where: San Luis Obispo, CA + Facebook
- When: Buy new EP The Lost Boys Sessions now.
- Why: Click on any of the band links above and you wont get a post by this site. That’s because they are all pre-TBE. That golden age of alternative/post-punk/emo/indie rock that was filled with as many hooks as raw edges. PK are boldly going where many have gone before and reminding us that its a pretty damn fun place to be. Guitars, hooks, and driving rhythm sections. Listening to “Chase The Sky” makes me rather be at one of their concerts than most of the ones I’ve been to recently. Which is lucky because they will be playing alongside Jhameel and Y Luv in a show The Burning Ear is damn proud to present. October 23rd, right here in LA at the Silverlake Lounge. Book your flights now.
BY THE WAY! Did I mention that they cast magical spells on this Crystal Castles/Robert Smith joint and conjured up this cover that I can’t stop listening to. If they play this live I will pop.
i swear i’m right here, we’ll be good i promise, we’ll be so good
Ellie Goulding came on so strong with 2009’s “Starry Eyed” and then straight fell off the game with that snoozer LP Lights. Could this inspired Weeknd cover signify a rebirth? Well, we’ll see. People forget she cut her teeth on inspired covers (that Sam Sparro one is a classic!) although the minimal production is certainly working on her delicate voice.
Aaaaand the remix. Two-steppin’! Hot feet! Keep ’em movin!
In case you missed the memo, Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” is officially taking over the world. This does mean some good news. Besides the steller Manu el Chino remix there is the version she did with Jimmy Fallon and The Roots which is all kinds of giddy fun. However, the hands down finest piece of music related to the phenomenon is the heart-stopping folk cover by the UK’s Ben Howard. He reinvents the song all over, breathing his own life into the teenage lyrics. The songs takes an eerie twist on the original, buzzing and churning under Howard’s quivering voice. Cover of the year? Yeah, probably.
your’e tearing down my door, i keep on coming back for more
So grab that Calvin Harris cover while you are here but the real reason I’ve invited you today is because one of my favorite live DWNTWN jams “See My Eyes” finally has a proper release! The quite dark video is below where you can see sexy people doing silly things (like write letters with paper!). Enjoy all this goodness while you contemplate the fact that you weren’t in Nashville for the DWNTWN & Cherub show a few weeks back. That epic combo was born on the Burning Ear stages at SXSW!
This is a beautiful and awesome and hilarious and moving thing. Thank you, James Winters.
In other MCA tribute related news here are two Beastie jams reworked by people of varying fame.
Who knew that “Intergalactic” would blend so brilliantly with A-Track’s remix of Yeah Yeah Yeah’s “Heads Will Roll”?
curve’s the word, spin’s the verb, lovers it curves so freak what you heard
♫ Chet Faker – No Diggity (Blackstreet cover)
- Who: A guy whose real name is probably not Chet Faker.
- What: Chill-hop, like Rhye, Haim, Christopher Norman
- Where: Melbourne, Australia + Facebook
- When: His EP,Thinking In Textures, is out May 22
- Why: There has been a serious lack of cover song action on TBE so far this year and I can think of no better way to get back into them with this thick and slow version of “No Diggity.” If the first one soundtracked your ride to the party, then this one will get you home. And probably get you laid.
you can’t break what you can’t see, you cant’s take what’s yours to keep, you can’t steal it if its free
- Who: Joe Kosky & Tom Armstrong
- What: Indie electro variety pack, like Gemini Club, Is Tropical, Kitten Berry Crunch
- Where: Melbourne, Australia + Facebook / Soundcloud / Amazon
- When: Their debut EP is out now for free.
- Why: I can’t place what 90’s alternative rock jam “Another Me” kicks off like but it doesn’t really matter because things quickly diverge into a swirl of beats and grooves that set this track in the now. That kind of twist on your expectations is all over Godwolf’s debut EP as they spin from electro tenderness like “Another Me” to harsher rhythms like “Reaching For The Dark” to screechy bangers lie “Dead Weight” or even some dubstep dabbling on their stellar cover of “Crosses.”
These two Australians are clearly wielding some sharp talent and I’m looking forward to more tight jams. Grab the other 4 tracks on the EP free from their Soundcloud..
While rumors of the two dating haven’t surfaced (yet) we have these two music institutions together in a much more palatable way. Mayer whipped up an instrumental guitar version of “Video Games” and damn if it isn’t pretty stellar. In my head this version isn’t even instrumental because the rhythm alone brings all the words to mind instantly.
i don’t mind if they hear us, i just don’t want to miss out on you
- Who: He goes by “T”
- What: Genre, like XX
- Where: Copenhagen + Facebook / Soundcloud / Amazon
- When: Release dates?
- Why: If you hadn’t read the word cover above I bet it would take you a moment (or 4) to orient your ears to the tenderly catchy sounds you are hearing in relation to the context of the original. And that, my friends, is what makes a great cover. I love feeling turned upside down by a cover. New life is breathed into stale bread. But enough about what I Am Noxious does with other people’s songs.
The man from Copenhagen has got some serious chops of his own. “Stranded On Love” is a sultry call to to the bedroom that weaves a deftly growing beat with distant bongoes and gentle moans to make the kind of jam that can dim lights just as easily as it can start congo lines. Radical. Once you are decent again check out his older jam “Flashback Tears.” What a sing-along!
- Who: Ian, Doug, & Kyle.
- What: Soulful loop-pop, like Germany Germany, Ray Lamontagne, Gotye.
- Where: Vancouver, BC + Facebook / Bandcamp / Amazon
- When: Live At The China Cloud is out now. A proper LP is slated for Spring.
- Why: Live albums are generally rubbish for for diehard fans of outdated bands. And then there are the odd discs that actually turn you on to a new band, making you forget you are listening to a live recording long enough that when you remember you are, you say “Woah, all that was live?” Meet Bear Mountain. They make big (and often instrumental) swirling indie rock jams with a soulful heart and a pop edge. They also cover Germany Germany. Twice. Radical.
Second best song on the album is “Two Step” but you have no excuse not to get the whole thing because its free at their Bandcamp.
all you touch and all you see is all your life will ever be
If you follow TBE on Facebook or Twitter then you know I caught Capital Cities on Monday. If you follow TBE in any way then you know that makes me a lucky man. They tore the house down and then built the whole thing back up just to tear it down again. On a Monday! Live horns, extra guitarists, crisp blazers, and signature jumbo glasses were all on stage as they pumped out all the favorites plus a handful if new jams that sounds absolutely stellar. Nestled somewhere in that aural firework display was this reworking of the Pink Floyd classic. Chew on it as you plan your strategy to get them to play your town soon. Fly me out too!
Plus catch another remix of “Safe and Sound” in Joel’s recent Remix Party Playlist!
i wish you could believe i meant it all for you to know
- Who: Michael, Dan, & Matthew
- What: Vocal piano pop, kinda like Local Natives, Ben Folds, Jack’s Mannequin
- Where: Los Angeles + Facebook / Soundcloud / Amazon
- When: The Operating EP is out February 14th. Aww…
- Why: You may remember Lady Danville from their fantastic “Kids” cover from almost 3 years ago (below). They have been keeping us waiting since then but finally just returned in a big way with “Operating.” The vocals are huge and the hooks even bigger, the whole thing forcing me to sing along at top volumes. Their sound has evolved in remarkable ways, leaving few traces of the band we knew. I’ve heard the rest of the EP and it’s arena-sized sing alongs built for thousands. Gone are the days of twee-pop singer-songwriter soft-serve in place of a sound like Death Cab and Local Natives having a sleepover pillow-fight at the Hollywood Bowl. I guess a near death tour van wreck will do that to a band (see the for-reals album art). Now I’m not saying that they should get in more wrecks but if this is the music that comes out, then… well… just maybe.