Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tuesday Tunes - Cover It Up!

I've been listening to a lot of cover songs lately.  No particular reason, except for the damn playlist on Spotify that has hijacked my ears.  Such a good problem to have!  I'm sharing some of my recent favorites, and some all time bests too.  Covers are a nice reminder of how things that we thought we knew can surprise us in wonderful ways.  Sometimes we forget that what we thought was overplayed, old, or maybe a bit tired can be refreshed and brought back to life when looked at with a new perspective. Enjoy!

Romeo & Juliet - Dire Straits/Indigo Girls

One of my all time favorite songs.  The first time I heard it was the cover by the Indigo Girls though, and for years I thought that they had written it.  Then I bought a little soundtrack to the movie 200 Cigarettes and suddenly heard Mark Knopfler's familiar voice singing about the tragic couple.  I fully admit to mocking people who didn't realize that a cover was a cover, until it happened to me.  Lesson learned.  Amy Ray's version is so powerful, so full of conviction it's hard to believe that the song isn't hers.  She owns every note, every word of it.

XO - Beyonce/John Mayer
Do I have to explain?  As if XO wasn't already a super sweet, sappy, fun, love song, then freaking John Mayer waltzes in with his broody guitar, a harmonica and pouting big lips and kills it a second time, in a totally different way.  

Cry Me A River - Justin Timberlake/Chvrches
I am fully and admittedly obsessed with Chvrches.  They are an incredible talent, they're Scottish (yay!), and I love them.  

Where Is My Mind? - Pixies/Trampled by Turtles
Pixies.  No explanation needed. It's the mother effing Pixies!  But what's exceptional about this song, is the cover.  Trampled by Turtles have somehow managed to merge their distinct folk/country/bluegrass sound with the punk rock of the Pixies, making the song both recognizable and unique at the same time.  

Fade Into You - Mazzy Star/Ben Harper
In the late nineties this song was likely played on repeat in the bedroom of every teenage girl post break-up.  Every time I hear it I am instantly transported to my teenage years, and my brief stint in college.  There's something ethereal and unnerving about this song.  It's a combination of the words and melody here, they both pull at something just below the surface.  It's as if you're watching a sad goodbye take place in front of you on a rainy street, but then it shifts somewhere and you find it becomes your story, your song.  Ben Harper makes this song grow up.  It's no longer a whiny teenager, it's a grown man grieving his loss, and it breaks your heart.