Sun Kil Moon - Dramamine (Modest Mouse Cover)
Modest Mouse are one of those huge bands that most people seem to enjoy. I can’t claim to be a humongus fan but I do love the opening track Dramamine from their 1996 debut album This Is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About. Apparently dramamine is a motion sickness drug, which ties in to the concept of the album title rather nicely.
Sun Kil Moon covers this song changing the melody and progression of the original, playing up the tension with rhythm guitars and cymbal clashes. Mark Kozelek aka Sun Kil Moon makes Dramamine his own with this rendition and the result is vastly different, but grand in its own right.
James Devane - Rhubarb (Aphex Twin Cover)
I have no agenda.
I have no endorsements, no sponsors, no product placement on this website. I have never studied marketing or advertising. I have no interest in hype, in trending, in staying up to date with the most recent major label artist campaign push.
I have never sugarcoated or given my opinion of music lightly without careful contemplation and consideration on different elements and textures of the soundscape.
I don’t listen to radio, I don’t watch television and I have started falling out of the habit of attending social events for the sake of engaging in shallow conversations consisting of the same polite but generic questions and answers.
I don’t listen to music to be social or antisocial, nor do I do it to develop a false sense of superiority or alienation from those around me. I do listen to music to stimulate my brain, to engage areas of my psyche that are both primitive and highly developed. I write about music not for any personal gain, but in the hope that I can share some amazing creative works with other appreciative listeners. I don’t believe in altruism, or selflessness because I love sharing music with others and I vicariously feel a sense of joy in the process.
I often feel forced to talk a lot during the day, and far too often these spoken exchanges are dwarfed in terms of meaning, emotion, expression and understanding compared to the awesome communicative powers that music can have - which brings me to the end of my ramblings. At the end of the day, you can complain about the state of music today, or you can use your initiative and seek a world of undiscovered talent and a crowd of like-minded people to share your appreciation with, rather than your own disappointments.
17 (Youth Lagoon Cover)
Astronauts, etc. - 17 (Youth Lagoon Cover)
Astronauts, etc. has really made a lovely cover of Youth Lagoon’s 17. This track is the kind of song you can listen to over and over again when you are tired out of your mind and it will soothe you like a full brain massage through your earlobes. The raw vocals and live sound make the impact of this song far more immediately emotional than more polished recordings.
Just like Tim Fitz, this DIY musician has shown a proficiency dubbing over the top of the tracks he has laid down to essentially play the entire song solo.
You can check out more of Astronauts, etc.’s work on his Soundcloud page which includes plenty more free downloads. Enjoy.
Download - 17
Crush (Jennifer Paige cover)
Jai Paul - Crush (Jennifer Paige cover)
Holy guacamole Batman!
Jai Paul, one of my most highly anticipated artists has just released his debut album unannounced, six years after premiering his first track BTSTU.
The unconventional approach in which he’s released it is nothing short of what I have come to expect from the mysterious England-based artist. The untitled tracks have been uploaded onto Bandcamp without any warning from Jai Paul’s record label XL. Blogs are speculating on the authenticity of the album, but people familiar with the Everlasting demo leaks will recognise many of the mastered versions of material that has previously surfaced on the internet (such as his hit Jasmine).
The album is spliced full of obscure film dialogue and skits but there are still plenty of gems to be found on the album. One highlight on the album is Track 7, thought to be a cover of Jennifer Paige’s 1998 pop single, Crush. You can check out the rest of the album here.
Download - Crush
Whatcha Say (Jason Derulo Live Cover)
Bombay Bicycle Club
Bombay Bicycle Club - Whatcha Say (Jason Derulo Live Cover)
If you ever heard Jason Derulo’s song Whatcha Say you could be forgiven for thinking he butchered Imogen Heap’s classic track Hide & Seek. But these days where the news can be autotuned and kids can become overnight celebrities, music has never been so accessible.
Bombay Bicycle Club have redeemed Jason’s misplaced homage by covering Whatcha Say and doing a damn good job of it. Jack Steadman’s voice is as distinctive as ever and the sparing acoustic guitar is a basic, but glorious accompaniment to his singing.
The British band have gradually built a loyal following since releasing their debut album in 2009. Two albums later and Bombay Bicycle Club have proven themselves to be one of the best indie groups to come out of the UK in the past few years. Enjoy this rare cover and check out Shuffle and How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep? if you want to become better acquainted with their music.
The April Maze - And We Danced
Purity seems to be a mythical ideal as you grow older, more cynical and less naïeve. It becomes more obsolete than a flitting memory from your childhood but it is no less important.
The reason for my lamentations on purity can be traced back to this beautiful track from Melbourne-based husband and wife duo The April Maze and their unique sound that seems to capture that whimsical idea so vividly.
The sentiment is simple, the production basic, but the sound of the harmonised vocals and melody makes for an extremely enjoyable listen with definite playback value.
Since my dad showed me this flattering article of the group last weekend I haven’t been able to stop listening to And We Danced and the song has strengthened my faith in the capacity for amazing musicians to gain the recognition that they deserve from mainstream media sources.
Atlas Genius - Islands (The xx Cover)
If my senses are anything to go by, it seems as though Atlas Genius are be likely to be headed for stardom in the near future. The Adelaide based band “dropped in” to Crown City Studios in Pasadena, California to record this rendition of The xx’s track Islands. This track was recorded days ago riding off the success of their EP and a US tour in August-September of this year.
To date Islands is still my favourite xx’s song so hearing a live acoustic cover of it is welcome. I’ll be interested to hear what Atlas Genius have coming up in the future and to see if their debut album lives up to some of the buzz they have been generating.
Download - Islands (The xx Cover)
Manu Chao - Bongo Bong
What do you get when your mama is queen of the mumbo and your papa is king of the Congo? You get the king of bongo.
Manu Chao is a French born musician who sings in a combination of English, French and Spanish. This track is a remake of Mano Negra, wherein Manu Chao was a founding member. Bongo Bong is a ska-based track that features bilingual singing and rapping, particularly in the medley Je Ne T’Aime Plus, that plays at the end.
After Manu Chao’s begun recording solo, he released Bongo Bong as the lead single from his first album. It was a huge success and went on to sell 5 million copies. This is a wonderful effort considering that his music is so unique. It has become part of pop culture with Robbie Williams and Lilly Allen covering the track and to date it is still Manu Chao’s most recognisable song.