Category Archives: Cover Your Ears

The Civil Wars cover MJ’s Billie Jean

 

With a sound reminiscent of the ghostly fallen who died on home soil, The Civil Wars stand out amongst the drone of so many acoustic songwriters. You may know them from the Hunger Games soundtrack, with Taylor Swift providing the lead vocals on “Safe & Sound”. They’ve got a three song live set posted at LaundroMatinee, with a link to download the audio for free. Amongst that set is a fan favorite, Billie Jean originally by Michael Jackson. This song has been covered countless times, and somehow this version doesn’t feel stale. Put this on for slow dancing with spirits.

W

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Candadian Folk-Pop goes Minimal goes Glitchstep

Some backstory: the soulful British singer/producer James Blake released an 11 track self-titled album in February of last year. He has a distinct style that fuses the icy chill of minimalist with the groove and feeling of R&B. Categorized as Dubstep/Post-Dubstep, this a silly misnomer made by silly people. This label doesn’t do his uniqueness justice, and would turn off many a listener who are looking for more depth in their electronic music.

30 seconds into track one and I was already sold. It’s a brilliant album that magnificently ebbs and flows with expertise; one that you’ll leave on repeat because the songs provide something fresh each listen.  Contained in this album is his rendition of a Feist track, “Limit To Your Love.” He slows down the already melancholy tone to a creeping pace, giving the listener time for contemplation and tension to squirm. The bass submerges into something primal at points in the song; it feels tasteful and creative.

Here is James Blake’s version:

For fans of Inception, below is a remix of the cover, sampling Blake’s vocals but redefining the structure of the song. The beat is different, the flow is different. There are at least a half dozen remixes of this song on youtube and this was only one that seemed to do it justice. To create a successful cover, the artist must take only the best aspects of the original and turn the rest into their own work. This gets more complicated as the song delineates from its origins. Put this on while reanimating.

W

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Allow Kevin Bacon two minutes to cool before serving

While the act of dancing is pivotal to plot of Footloose, recording artist Doveman doesn’t seem to care. This track isn’t meant for dancing; in fact, it feels most appropriate to play over a scene where a man repeatedly stalks a woman. The true perversion of this song’s message is brought to light with somber tone, icy keys, and an eerily failing voice. Feel free to listen to the entire soundtrack; he maintains consistent juxtaposition. Keep your dancing shoes where they are, draw the blinds, and put this on while remembering exes.

-W

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The accordion is such a polarizing instrument. When used properly it creates a soft, subtle tonal layer that plays off the acoustics of the rest of the performance. When used improperly, it is comparable to scratching cats with chalkboards. Yes, using the whole chalkboard to scratch a cat – it would sound horrendous.

Luckily, I have included an example of the former as the first in a weekly series of proper covers.

What do you want to hear covered?

-W

What The Folk?

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