Ladies Love Covering (Cool) Drake

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Look, I love Drake, you love Drake, we all love Drake. But you know who really loves Drake? Etheral, indie, electornic pop songstresses. And so I decided it was about time to compile a list of some of my favorite Drake covers, as performed by some talented females (warning, duplicates ahead).

Florence + The Machine // Take Care

This is the OG of Drake covers IMHO. Debuted about four years ago during a performance session at the BBC One Live Lounge, Florence and the Machine tackled Take Care. I love how excited Florence is to perform the number, and I was memsmerized the first time I saw it. The strings also really take it to the next level.

 

Yuna // Hold On, We’re Going Home

I first heard this version when the rapidly rising Malaysian singer performed this little ditty during a Spotify Sessions performance. I’m sure I’m not the only one whose had it come up on their Discover Weekly and stopped what they were doing to find out just who exactly was responsible for some a magical rendition.

 

Glass Face // Hotline Bling

I had actually never heard of Glass Face, but recently stumbled upon their cover of Hotline Bling, and I’ll admit it piqued my interest. There have, of course, been more than a few various covers of Hotline Bling since the song made its meme-tastic debut in 2015. But I really like what Glass Face did with the arrangement, really stripping it down (it’s signature drum beat is absent the entire track) and adding in layers of harmonies until it finally builds to its final crescendo.

 

Tinashe // Days in the West

A cover that almost renders the original track “Days in the East” unrecognizable, Tinashe somehow takes the verses and makes them feel slightly delicate, until she hits it hard. Is it just me or does listening to this make you feel slightly more empowered?

 

ASTR // Hold On, We’re Going Home

See, I warned you. But this one is too good it’s worth two versions of the same song. Not a new one of course, released by the band about 2 years go – but I would be remiss in excluding it in case there’s anyone out there that hasn’t heard it yet (thought with over 4 Million streams on Spotify I supsect there aren’t too many of you left).

Now Playing: Drive – Oh Wonder

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image via bbc radio 1

Let’s kick it old school shall we? No fancy lists, hooks, Justin Bieber references today – just a good old fashioned post about a song I cannot stop listening to. Oh Wonder is songwriting duo Anthony West and Josephine Vander Gucht, and together they make sparkling, etherial, entrancing music.  Their self-titled debut was released in September, and trust me, it’s goooood.

But in an effort to stay to true to my roots, let me draw your attention to one song in particular – Drive.

 

I feel like if there was a feelings equivalent of onomatopoeia this song is it.  Titled “Drive” and with lyrics that talk about driving, it instantly gives that “on the road” feeling (no ties to Kerouac).   And in case you hadn’t heard of Oh Wonder until now, I’d say this is a pretty good crash course in their overall sound – soft, gentle melody, rolling rhythms and a  building chorus. I mean really – what else can you want?

 

Justin Bieber. . . The New Taylor Swift?

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I know, you just came here to berate me for this headline – but hear me out.

As we all know, the world can currently not escape get enough of Taylor Swift.  Her tour, her BFFLS, her feuds, her music, her music videos, her controversies, her haters, her lovers – it’s seemingly all Taylor all the Time.

And with this – dare I say – over saturation, has come the inevitable backlash.  Our once loveable girl from PA whose family moved to Nashville to write her feelings into anthems has turned into a finely tuned pop-music machine.  And you know what?  Good for her.  She’s a savvy business woman who has wisely navigated the obstacles of pop-music to take her career to new heights.  But let’s get one thing straight – she is no longer the underdog.  Not by a long shot.

Enter: Justin Bieber.  Bieber – who once stood proud atop a mountain of screaming tween fans.  Who was birthed by said fans on YouTube; a case study for what it means to be a pop-star in the internet age.  And who, quickly after hitting puberty, saw his public image crumble.  He became the butt of every joke, a troubled youth who couldn’t make a right decision to save his life – with some even calling for his deportation.

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But now we are entering a new phase of Bieber-dom.  Bieber as underdog – filling the void that was once occupied by Taylor. He is creating entertaining, catchy music (I won’t hear arguments on that one, you may not like pop music, and that’s fine, but What Do You Mean is a good solid pop tune). He is opening up to his fans in a way that feels genuine (see: crying on stage at the VMAs), he’s returning to his roots by reminding us that he has been crushing drum sets since he was a tiny toddler.  He’s even singing live.  And…it seems to be working.

I feel the tide turning on Bieber.  As a long-time fan – yes I wear that badge proudly – I’m starting to see the haters cautiously change their tune.  This poor kid who didn’t know what to do with his insta-fame, is starting to figure it out.  He’s learned that his flaws can be his biggest stepping-stones to greatness, in a way Taylor did in the early days, i.e., when she wrote about being told she couldn’t sing in “Mean.”  And unlike Swift who is sitting pretty for the first time atop the pop-music throne, Justin has been there before.  He knows what it means to be on top, and so I don’t think he’ll chase it as narrowly, or as methodically, as Taylor has been these past few years.  And I think that will only mean longer endured success.

So I ask you – is Justin Bieber the next Taylor Swift? Has pop music found its new underdog? Only time will tell, but this Baby” loving twenty-something is betting big on the Biebs.

Now Watching: Leon Bridges Sings “The River” for La Blogothéque

Look, I’m not going to bother explaining the deal with Leon Bridges.  The fact is if you don’t know, you should.  And if you need help, see thisthis, this, or this.

Or, if you don’t like reading – all you really need to do is watch his Takeaway Show in Paris with La Blogothéque.  To summarize briefly: Leon’s voice is on point, the harmonies are soulful and soothing, the red wine is boss, and the Parisians give zero fucks.  It’s glorious.

So once you’ve watched and fallen head over heels, be sure to give the full album Coming Home a listen – I assure you it’s worth it.

Tove Lo’s “Talking Body” Somehow Made Inexplicably More Attractive

I have a confession to make – I find Tove Lo’s recent single “Talking Body” to be like, crazy sexy (cool).  Those of you that know me well know that me writing that on the internet is a pretty big deal.  But there it is – out there for all the world to see.

So you can imagine I’m finding it difficult to figure out just what to do with myself after finding this cover by Thirdstory, because, somehow, impossibly, inexplicably, it makes the song even sexier with layers of harmonies and falsetto, a slowed down tempo, and a more R&B feel.  Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to go find a glass of ice water while I let you all enjoy this delicious musical treat.

h/t Fuse

 

Adorable Japanese Children Are Better Humans Than You

With all that seems to be wrong in this world, sometimes it’s good to have a daily does of sunshine.

Enter some of the cutest little Japanese kids you’ve ever seen, left to stand alone for a moment at a train station – only to have the stranger next to them drop their wallet.  Not surprisingly, all the kids do their part to return the wallet, and they do it with some serious style.  Every single one of these tiny good samaritans dresses better than I do.  To be honest, my cynical butt wouldn’t be surprised if this is like a Uniqlo ad in disguise.

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Seriously, this could be in a magazine.

Ad or not – enjoy watching these tiny humans be way better at life than you in every way, including wearing beanies.

h/t reddit

The Punch Brothers Take On The Strokes

Great news internet! One of my favorite music series is back in action – A.V. Club’s A.V. Undercover, where artists of all genres stop by the A.V. Club offices and choose a song from a pre-selected list to cover.  This year’s series kicks off with one of my personal favorites, and a veteran of the series – Punch Brothers.  A few years ago, the boys and their strings set a bar that has yet to be matched (IMHO) when they covered Cars, and now they’re back – this time taking on The Strokes’ Repitlia.

Now – it’s worth noting (as A.V. Club rightfully does), that PB have already covered this song, but that doesn’t make their arrangement any less kick ass. If you’re not familiar with the Punch Brothers, you should know that each and every one of them is about a billion times more talented than you are, and Chris Thile loves to make weird faces while he crushes the mandolin.  And hopefully after this you will have a strong desire to become more familiar with them.

So welcome back Undercover! I can’t wait to see what other treasures this year’s series has in store for us.