Covers are an interesting thing. A lot of times, they leave me feeling stupid and worthless as I tell myself I’ve discovered this great new band who instantly put out a classic, only to find it’s a cover. But the silver lining to that feeling is that usually it means the cover was done right. The artist covering the material needs to bring an element of uniqueness to the original song in order to make it a bit of their own, but not a complete ripoff of the maker’s creation. And when done right, it’s a magical moment. Here are ten covers done exceptionally well.
When I heard that Youth Lagoon will be releasing a new album in 2013 (Wondrous Bughouse, Fat Possum), I immediately thought ‘save a spot on the Top Albums of 2013 list.’ Of course, that’s not fair to everybody else releasing albums this year, but if The Year of Hibernation was telling of what Trevor Powers will bring to us on 2013’s Wondrous Bughouse, we’ve got a treat in store. A couple days ago, the day of the first single was released by Youth Lagoon, and it’s a slightly odd, quivery tune called Dropla. Decked with repeating lyrics saying “you’ll never die,” and swishy background acoustics, I have a strange feeling this song might haunt my dreams tonight, but nevertheless it’s intriguing. I was wondering, at first listen, when that moment would be…that moment that I’ve come to know Trevor Powers for…where everything switches up a little bit, I get the chills, and smile to myself. I thought he might have left it out, but alas…it’s there. It comes around the 4:15 mark, when the vocals disappear and it’s an acoustic session lead by the piano. Beautiful.
All in all, this song is not quite up to par to what I expect to hear from Powers in the album as a whole, but I’m still intrigued to hear what’s coming for us.
MP3: “17” – Youth Lagoon
DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE:
Magik Magik Orchestra started the Death Cab for Cutie portion of the show, playing the opening notes of “Passenger Seat” as Ben Gibbard quietly slid out on stage. The rest of the band joined him during “Different Names for the Same Thing”. The ornate nature of the Fox Theater was in stark but lovely contrast to the understated set up of the show and stage. All members of the band were clad entirely in black and the Magik Magik Orchestra members wore black and white. The light show was minimal, serving its purpose of playing up the mood of each song, nothing more. The focus was definitely on the music, appropriately somber with the orchestral accompaniment. There were some light moments and jokes, but this was definitely the most serious and most beautiful Death Cab concert I’ve seen.
Hit the jump to see the full Death Cab for Cutie set list.
-Written by Debbie Liu
I think it was last year. I don’t even know because clearly I’ve repressed the memory. I humiliated myself. I don’t want to talk about what I did, but it was just a disaster. I felt like it was the end of the world. Instead of dealing with the problem at hand, I ignored it and buried it in the depths of my memory, while I worked on other things, trying to keep my mind off of the situation. It’s kind of what I do. I started a music blog, and one of the mixes I made on it was called nostalgia, ULTRA, named after Frank Ocean’s awesome mixtape. Anyway, I looked back on my iTunes and dug up some of the songs from that and stuck them on this mix. THE END OF THE WORLD is a rehashing of an embarrassing moment in my life. It contains both old and new songs and is super personal and dear to me. Be sure to download it and play it one year from tomorrow. Honestly, that was just a coincidence.
- Passion Pit – Tonight, Tonight (Smashing Pumpkins Cover)
- Don Trip – Cheers (jj’s Save Our Souls Remix)
- Dan Mangan – The Indie Queens Are Waiting
- Oliver Tank – Beautiful (Snoop Dogg Cover) (ft. Fawn Myers)
- Common – The Believer (ft. John Legend)
- Shy Girls – Gonna Get My Name Back
- Jai Paul – BTSTU (Edit)
- recess – love in the streets of bklyn.
- Michael Cera’s Interlude
- Ed Sheeran – You Need Me
- The Killers – Mr. Brightside (Cry Wolf Remix)
- Moby – The Day (Yeasayer Remix)
- Foster the People – Miss You
- Electric Guest – Troubleman
- Grouplove – Tongue Tied
- Skizzy Mars – Shangri-La
- Fibes, Oh Fibes! – Cerahtonia
- 2AM Club – Tell Her Hi
- Macklemore and Ryan Lewis – The End
- Youth Lagoon – Goodbye Again (John Denver Cover)
- The Tallest Man On Earth – The Drying of the Lawns
- Wintersleep – Weighty Ghost
You whispered, “Don’t you love music? It’s such a gift, and I’ll give it to ya. But you gotta use it.”
When the end of the year rolls around, it dawns on me that it’s time to put together my “Best Of” lists. It’s a daunting task, and one that comes with risk of heavy criticism and/or incredible envy from megafans out there who wonder how in the world I come across all of this music and fit it into my already busy life. Don’t worry, I know you exist. (Kidding. Seriously.)
I find it very important to start this time of year with a predecessor: I am not perfect. I haven’t listened to every single album that was released in 2011. Something tells me it’s actually not possible. There must be more than 8,765 hours of music that was released in 2011. So obviously there may be things that I have missed. But what I can say is that I have listened to a TON of music throughout the year. Whether it’s through my own perusing, PR contacts getting in touch with me, trusting my blogger friends when they recommend an artist or an album, or artists asking me themselves to listen to their releases, I have listened to hundreds of albums over the last twelve months. And through it all, I have somehow come to the conclusion that these 20 constitute the best that I heard.
I tend to have a very eclectic taste, so you’ll find a very wide variety of music genres and types on this list. Though we live in an era of free singles and file sharing, I really encourage you guys to purchase any and all of these albums. I’ve provided a purchase on iTunes link for each one of them. Just click on the name of the album. Support the artist. It’s what your mother would want you to do. Unless you’re using her credit card. She might not like that. But do it anyway.
*All write-ups below are written by Lydia, unless otherwise noted
Click through to continue reading and sample one song from each of our Top 20 Albums of 2011
I consistently have to apologize for Artists on the Dashboard being an irregular feature, but this month there are three that I just couldn’t stand not to write about. As blogs start compiling their bests of the year lists, many of the big stars are put in the spotlight, but I want to be sure that some of the smaller artists get shouted out, too. You will likely see one of these artists on several blogs’ Best Albums of 2011 lists, and he absolutely deserves it. This month, we’ve got three solo artists who are deserving of your attention and are about to hit the big screens, in my opinion. The three artists of choice this month are Skizzy Mars, Youth Lagoon, and Luck-One.