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).
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Look the week is basically over. In fact, if you’re on the East Coast, it is over. But before you get your weekend pippity poppin’, do yourself a favor and watch the final round from last night’s episode of Lip Sync Battle. Everyone’s favorite dreamboat and executive producer John Krasinski, takes on future auteur, Pitch Perfect 2 boss, and Twitter queen Anna Kendrick. Let me give you a list of the highlights in no particular order:
- Tear away clothes
- Hilarious height discrepency
- John Krasinski in drag
- A slideshow of Emily Blunt’s face
- Hands free microphones
- Jennifer Lopez serving
- LL Cool J & Chrissy Teigen (yeah I know they’re in every ep, but whatever, it’s the most baller host combo ever
- Anna Kendrick looking absurdly hot and being like, a really good dancer
So Happy Friday! Now watch these goddamn videos.
Remember Eagle Eye Cherry? Who am I kidding, of course you remember them. “Save Tonight” was a staple of every alt kid’s 90’s playlist, or at least it was on mine. So in honor of the ubiquitous Throwback Thursday, let’s all join together to enjoy this fabulous cover by Louis Vivet.
Now since the original will always have a special place in my heart, I won’t go as far as to call this version better, but damn if it isn’t something special. I love the haunting vocals by some young guns – Gavrielle and Nick Goldston – and am even down with the techno break in the middle. The track is upbeat but yet stays true to the melancholy of the lyrics (try to tell me you didn’t use to cry to this song while thinking about your crush in grade school, or hanging with your friends on the last day of camp). So here you are folks, your #TBT jam of the day.
Everyone loves R.Kelly’s Ignition (Remix). I know this to be true for many reasons: it’s a great song, it’s catchy as all hell, and also I once witnessed a spontaneous sing-a-long/dance party erupt when it came on at a restaurant (no joke…I have the video to prove it, but I can’t figure out how to embed an instagram video and I deleted it from my phone).
What I didn’t know what there was a way to make this sexy ass R&B jam feel like a totally and completely different song. I mean seriously, how else can one sing “running her hands through my fro, bouncing on twenty fours…”? It turns out at least one other way – the soft, female, indie-folk way. I can hear the chorus of “Whaaaa?” from here. But trust me, green-haired songstress Phoebe Ryan delivers.
So have a listen, and realize that a) these lyrics are pretty ridiculous when sung by anyone other than R.Kelly (and even then…) and b) you have always been craving this cover, you just didn’t know it yet.
Let me tell you a story about a marvelous young band called The Oh Hellos.
I must first be honest about one thing, I have kept The Oh Hellos to myself for quite some time. I can’t even tell you how I first discovered them, but at some point in 2012 I heard one of their songs, and instantly fell in love. Brother and sister Maggie and Tyler Heath are each glorious songbirds, whose unique voices are typically backed by a chorus of a harmonies and majestic arrangements that sound like Arcade Fire’s folk-y cousin. Their 2012 album Through The Deep, Dark Valley has made me smile, its made me cry, its even helped me fall asleep when trapped in the same room with a family member whose snoring made me nearly homicidal.
After years of listening to their music, but never seeing LA appear on any of their tour schedules, I assumed that this would be band I would only experience via recordings – and I was totally fine with that. But then, a few months ago while persuing TicketFly, I miraculously stumbled upon their show at The Troubadour. I added the tickets to my cart, checked out, and thought nothing of it. A few weeks later, when a friend suggested they might want to join me, I took a look to see if there were tickets left, and not only had the show I had tickets for sold out, but a second date had been added, and it too was sold out. Apparently my secret band was not as secret as I thought.
Friday rolled along, and the day before I reminded my boyfriend that he would be joining me to see a band I had never mentioned to him, that he had never listend to, but who meant a very great deal to me. Given that it was the day after my birthday, and he’s a very kind man, he obliged. I warned him that I had done very little research into what their live show was like, and thus could not guarantee him anything, but I secretly suspsected we were in for quite a treat…and boy was I right.
The Troubadour was packed to the rafters with fans and band members alike (there were 11 total people on stage playing two drums, a banjo, two guitars, a fiddle, an accordian, a bass, one backup vocalists, and then Maggie and Tyler – who also had a guitar). The show was nothing sort of spectacular. The band’s energy is out of this world and completely contagious, Tyler and Maggie’s voices are even more incredible in person than they are on their albums, and everyone on stage seemed to be having the time of their lives. At the end of their set, the crowd chanted for an encore and, when the band re-emerged, screamed so loud I think my ears are still ringing.
During the show my boyfriend hit the nail on the head when he observed that every one of their songs sounded like it could be the soundtrack to Where the Wild Things Are. The show was truly a wild rumpus, and I think we are only just seeing the beginning of what I’m sure are many great things to come from this joyous and immensley talented group.
So do yourself a favor and listen to their album in its entirety here.