Cover songs are a fascinating but understated genre in music that may be emerging into something beyond their original intention. For decades, they have been a way for new and seasoned artists to utilize popular songs as an outlet to showcase their own talent. They don’t ask a lot of the listener, and create a nostalgic space that many of us can easily patch into.
Over the last few years, I’ve noticed that covers are becoming much more creative. Some artists are even releasing entire EPs dedicated to them. I personally love it when it takes a while to recognize the familiar traits of the song you’re listening to. That’s where it gets interesting. Here are a few of my current favorites. Links to the original songs are included in the descriptions:
Kathy’s Song (Westerman)
An electric fusion approach to this classic Simon and Garfunkel song (original here) retains the original harmonic qualities but sprinkles in what sounds like digital rain.
Everywhere (Roadkill Ghost Choir)
This song used to be one of my very favorites from Fleetwood Mac (original here) and somehow Roadkill Ghost Choir turns the classic upbeat momentum on its head, creating a completely different atmosphere. I love the result and one of my favorite listening experiences has now become two.
Oh Yoko! (Gems)
This is a cover of one of my favorite John Lennon songs (original here) that strips the classic momentum a bit to create a dreamy ghost-like effect that is worth listening to.
Iris (Matt Van / Mr. FijiWiji)
This incredibly popular Goo Goo Dolls song (original here) was never one I enjoyed much, but since it has been redressed electronically, I can really appreciate it more now.
Stand By Me (KiTheory)
This rendition of Ben E. King’s classic is a complete transformation of the original song. It’s dark and incredibly moody. One of the most unique covers I’ve ever heard.
A Hard Rain’s A Gonna Fall (Laura Marling)
If you don’t know Laura Marling, I suggest checkIng her work out. She’s a true talent and her rendition of Bob Dylan’s song (original here) has a fully instrumental feel that feels more like a classic cover effort: