BEST INDIE COVERS OF 2014 - PART 2
It's been two months since we published Best Indie Covers of 2014 – Part 1, and already a Part 2 is in order. The art of the cover song is a curious one, particularly when dabbled in by indie artists. Some of the time the product of an ironic hipster mentality, most of the time the outcome of a genuine emotional attachment, a cover song seldom fails to throw a new light on both the tune that's being covered, and the artist who's covering it. And this year certainly hasn't been short of surprises.
MØ – SAY YOU'LL BE THERE (SPICE GIRLS COVER)
Copenhagen pop chanteuse, MØ, recently offered up this guitar-speckled reinterpretation of the Spice Girls hit from '96, “Say You'll Be There.” Faithful enough to trigger nostalgia, trill enough to pass the Pitchfork test, this is Girl Power at its most up-to-the-minute.
LÜTHIAN – I WISH (SKEE-LO COVER)
We never thought Skee-Lo and chillwave could belong in the same sentence, let alone in the same song. Enigmatic Vancouver producer, Lüthian, gracefully dashes all of our preconceived notions, however, with this reverb-laden flip-up of the '95 hip-hop anthem.
YOUNG SUMMER – DON'T YOU WANT ME (THE HUMAN LEAGUE COVER)
Behind the synths and Susan Ann Sulley's trench coat is a tragic love song in the form of “Don't You Want Me.” Alas, the melodrama once eschewed by The Human League in '81 comes to the fore in this flawless piano cover by Washington DC's Young Summer.
LÅPSLEY – BLUE MONDAY (NEW ORDER COVER)
Låpsley has charmed almost everybody this year with her original, ambient soundscape. Gratifying, then, to hear the Liverpudlian's distinct production embrace New Order's “Blue Monday,” the song responsible for bridging the chasm between disco and dance in '83.
DU TONC – I'M ON FIRE (BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN COVER)
Du Tonc saw in the New Year by mischievously stripping Bruce Springsteen's “I'm On Fire” of the sexual heartland rock pioneered by The Boss in '85, replacing it instead with a coquettish nu disco. It doesn't look good on paper, but no truly bold cover ever should.
OWL EYES – SOMETHING ABOUT US (DAFT PUNK COVER)
The “Idol” franchise is hardly renowned for producing credential artists, but Owl Eyes, a finalist in the Australia leg, is a rare exception. Here's her enchanting take on Daft Punk's “Something About Us,” first released in '03. Sigh, what a difference 10 years makes.
SHY GIRLS – SITTIN' UP IN MY ROOM (BRANDY COVER)
Portland's Shy Girls puts the P&B into R&B in this cover of “Sittin' Up In My Room.” While you may have whipped your braids back 'n' forth to Brandy's giddy original in '95, Dan Vidmar presents a disturbing flip-up riddled with gunshots and hints of obsession.
BANKS – ARE YOU THAT SOMEBODY (AALIYAH COVER)
Separating Aaliyah's '98 hit “Are You That Somebody” from its Timbaland production seems almost unthinkable, but Banks does exactly that in this acoustic cover. It works, too, as the sense of danger in the girl from the big LA's voice is akin to that of her predecessor's.
BANOFFEE – BLEEDING LOVE (LEONA LEWIS COVER)
“Bleeding Love” is a guilty pleasure of ours. It's a flawless pop song, and Leona Lewis delivered it with Mariah Carey-esque chops in '07. Melbourne artist, Banoffee, turns said chops on their heads, however, with this deadpan, electronica version. Robots bleed, too.
MINNI LOVELLE – DON'T YOU (FORGET ABOUT ME) (SIMPLE MINDS COVER)
“Don't You (Forget About Me)” was first offered to Billy Idol in '85. Even though we adore Simple Minds, we still maintain Idol would have nailed it. But what if it was sung by a girl? Brit chanteuse, Minni Lovelle, satisfies our curiosities with this R&B-infused cover.
ELLIE GOULDING – ALL I WANT (KODALINE COVER)
Ellie Goulding proves yet again there's nothing wrong with taking a contemporary song and adding your own spin to it. Here, she covers Kodaline's breakthrough hit, “All I Want.” Corny opera twist aside, this is a match for the heartbreaking original released in '13.
BEST INDIE COVERS OF 2014 – PART 2
Drop us a line informing us of your top indie artist covers below. If the last two months are anything to go by, a Part 3 is coming your way soon.
About Jess Grant
When Jess Grant isn't writing on music, she can be found playing it – on her guitar, on her ukulele, and on her recently acquired mandolin. Playing it hideously, she ought to add. Jess also studies. She studies the English language, to be precise. Jess is currently on her way to a degree in the subject, and enjoys starting and never finishing novels, screenplays, and poetry in her spare time. She also likes dogs. Lots of dogs.