Cover Songs – Better Than the Original? (Vol. 1)

I love a good cover song, especially the ones that you do not realise are covers straight away because their sound is so different from the original. Many of them are able to surpass the original, often becoming so popular that many people don’t realise that they are cover versions, a prime example being Whitney Houston’s ‘I Will Always Love You’, initially written and recorded by Dolly Parton in 1974. As there are so many great cover songs out there I’ve decided to start a new feature on some of my favourites.

The first track in this selection is one that few people are aware is a cover, partly because it is so different to the electro original and also because unless you are familiar with the soundtrack to Drive, you may not have heard the original. Either way, both tracks are great in their contrasting ways. Taken from their debut album ‘If You Wait’, this is London Grammar with their cover of Kavinsky’s ‘Nightcall’.

Next up is a cover of a track that I wasn’t a big fan of, One Direction’s ‘Story of My Life’. However, with the stunning vocals of one of my favourite artists, Lissie, she takes the song to a whole new level. Lissie is one of my go-to cover artists as she makes each song truly magical, with stunning covers of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Go Your Own Way’ as well as Drake’s ‘Hold On, We’re Going Home.’ Her 2014 EP of cover songs ‘Cryin’ To You’ features that Drake cover as well as ‘Story of My Life’ and I would heartily recommend listening to them all, as well as her own work if you haven’t listened to her before!

Another artist to cover ‘Hold On, We’re Going Home’ is Swedish singer Lykke Li. Released only 2 weeks ago, this has to be my new favourite cover song, as it’s just so beautifully atmospheric and moody. I won’t go on about it too much, just listen!

My next choice fits the stripped-down style many people associate with covers. British folk band Bear’s Den demonstrate how to do a beautiful, gentle and pretty cover with their version of Sam Smith’s ‘Stay With Me’. Their harmonies are gorgeous and while I hadn’t heard much of the band’s music before, it has definitely made me want to listen to more.

My final selection is a cover song that truly surprised me, partly because I’m pretty new to the artist myself and also because I now prefer his version to the original, perhaps a controversial opinion. I think the YouTube comment: ‘Loved the original but this is special’ sums it up for me. Have a listen to this, John Mayer with his take on Tom Petty’s ‘Free Fallin’.

I hope you have enjoyed listening to these covers and I would love to hear your personal favourites!

I’ll be posting more of mine soon.

OL

Moving Into Radio

As of tomorrow evening, The Beat will also have a radio show! I will upload the shows after they have been broadcast or you can listen live on RaW 1251AM (http://www.radio.warwick.ac.uk/). The show will be Thursday evenings at 5pm for the next 10 weeks.

I wanted to do a radio show that is linked to the blog as another way of sharing my favourite music, both new and old. As the previous Head of Music for RaW I’m really proud of the range of music that we play on the station and the variety of specialist music shows on the schedule. I’ve also loved presenting different shows on the station and am super excited to be back with this new show! As described on RaW’s website ‘The Beat is all about good music that is not restricted by genre, label or decade.’ So, essentially it’s going to be an hour each week of me sharing some fantastic music from a plethora of genres, some you may have heard before and some not!

I hope you can listen in!

OL

Tracks Of The Week

This week’s selection of tracks range from indie to psychedelic, so a pretty cool mix. Have a listen and see what you think!

Jamie xx feat. Romy – Loud Places

The solo debut album of The xx member Jamie will be released in June (another one to add to the wish list for that month) and is called In Colour. I love The xx’s sound and when I heard ‘Girl’ last year I got hooked so am really looking forward to hearing more from Jamie. This track, featuring vocals from bandmate Romy, is sure to be a big hit going into summer.

Tame Impala – ‘Cause I’m A Man

Posted earlier today, I think this may be my new addiction. Deliciously trippy and chilled, the latest from Tame Impala makes me even more excited for their upcoming third album. I posted ‘Let It Happen’ last month as one of my tracks of the week but I think this one might even beat it.

The Vaccines – Dream Lover

The band’s single ‘Handsome’, released at the start of 2015, was such a little burst of indie energy at under 3 minutes. Now The Vaccines have released ‘Dream Lover’ before their third album release in May. It shows a bit of a departure from ‘Handsome’ and although slower and more mellow, it’s still very catchy and also has a pretty quirky music video.

Shamir – Call It Off

On the subject of quirky music videos, Shamir’s ‘Call It Off’ certainly beats them all with this muppet-inspired video that is pretty bonkers. Not going to lie though, I love it and the song is ridiculously catchy and fun. At just 20 years old, Shamir is fresh, fun and unexpected and I can’t wait to hear and see more.

Fickle Friends – Could Be Wrong

I got a little bit obsessed with Fickle Friends last year after hearing ‘For You’, which I played on repeat for at least a few weeks straight.  Now the band have released another wonderful indie pop track that you just want to dance to outside in the sun. If you haven’t listened to them before, please do! They’re awesome.

Hope you have enjoyed!

OL