“A cover version or cover song, or simply cover, is a new performance or recording of a previously recorded, commercially released song by someone other than the original artist or composer.” – Wikipedia x.
Many artists today “cover” other artist’s work. Those artists tend to put a spin and show a bit of themselves in a particular song. An artist can cover a song and make it completely different than the original or go the opposite way and stick to how it was written. It’s a great outlet to grab a public’s attention.
In the UK, BBC Radio 1 has a special segment called, Radio 1’s Live Lounge. In the Live Lounge various artists play music live through the radio. An artist plays a couple songs of their own and later on they can cover a song. It’s basically tradition at Radio 1.
At the age of 10, being obsessed with Paramore, I had stumbled upon their cover of “Use Somebody” by Kings Of Leon. It was a bit similar to the original, but I was fathom by the fact that artist in general can sing other songs that aren’t theirs. My love for covers flourished. Ever since then I’ve been hooked, so I decided to share some of my favorite Live Lounge Covers. (in no particular order)
Nina Nesbitt – “Chocolate” by The 1975 ( x )
Nina Nesbitt, singer-songwriter covers a soft version of this song. The original is upbeat, loud, and confusing with the lyrics but Nesbitt makes this song one of her own. Her version is soft toned with a laid back vibe throughout, even when the song is sped up.
The 1975 – “Rather Be” by Clean Bandit ( x )
The 1975 turned this song the opposite of what it is. This version is slower with an r&b infusion. The sax made this extra special by adding song spice. It’s soothing and more emotional in a way. Gets a more mysterious vibe going.
Bastille – “We Can’t Stop” By Miley Cyrus ( x )
Dan Smith’s vocals are well arranged. The famous guitar chords of “Lose Yourself” by Eminem creep on into the song. The cover gets more edge with the cello and violin. Plus who doesn’t like seeing artists have some fun. Bastille a little snip of “Achy Breaky Heart” by Billy Ray Cyrus.
Clean Bandit – “Royals” By Lorde ( x )
This particular cover of “Royals” is unique and spontaneous. Clean Bandit is known for their violins, cello, and electrifying pop and that’s what made this cover their own. Sounds nothing like the original song besides the lyrics. It’s a good different, more fun instead of mystery.
Catfish & The Bottlemen – “Black Skinhead” by Kanye West
( x )
An alternative rock band on the rise covering a Kanye rap song? Seems legit right. This is one heck of a cover. The combination of three songs together, “Howlin’ For You” By The Black Keys, “Shoot The Runner” by Kasabian, and “Black Skinhead” by Kanye West. Their cover meshed these songs together perfectly. Everything was well balanced. Talk about authentic talent.
Genre Swap can be found in these covers. A genre swap is what it sounds like. An artist from a particular genre will take on a cover of a different genre. Take Circa Waves cover of “Love Me Like You Do” by Ellie Goulding ( x ) for example.
Years & Years – “Don’t Save Me” By Haim ( x )
Electronic trio covers an alternative trio. Trade a sick baseline for some synths. The foundation of the original is there but something else kept grabbing my attention, Olly Alexander’s voice. Alexander’s passionate effortless voice adds to the song. He takes the song to a higher level. Plus the synths give the song more spunk.
Foster The People – “Hold On We’re Going Home” by Drake
( x )
Autotune a device to shape your vocals and Mark Foster puts it to use very well. Playing with the electronic part of this cover was interesting because the original is more direct in r&b. The little snips of the guitar brought the song together. While Mark Pontius bangs the life out of the drum pad which is actually great to see.
Imagine Dragons – “Blank Space” by Taylor Swift ( x )
Keeping the baseline of “Stand By Me” by Ben E. KIng, Imagine Dragons decide to challenge themselves. The ever so popular “Blank Space” is a pop jam. Imagine Dragons stripped the pop sound added some harmonies and originality. Plus the mash-up of King’s song fit perfectly.
Disclosure & Sam Smith – “Hotline Bling” by Drake ( x )
This duo is at it again proving how talented they are. Add a powerhouse voice like Smith’s with unstoppable synths then you get a masterpiece. Disclosure’s addition rhythms and beats give this cover more flare. It gives the song more life. These guys just need to drop a collaboration album already.
Charlie Puth – “How Deep Is Your Love?” by Calvin Harris & Disciples
Charlie Puth has been on the rise due to his sucessful song “See You Again” with Wiz Khalifa. Now he decides to take a spin on “How Deep Is Your Love?”, an electronic song that makes people groove. Puth does a good job soothing the song out. His cover is very soulful by adding bass and piano.
There’s so many many more covers to love. It’s a great way for an artists to get themselves out there. Plus all the month of September Radio 1 is hosting their Live Lounge Month so go check them out. All videos can be found here x. -y