In this edition of the Artist Feature, we venture back into the realm of all things cover song. What I love most about an interesting cover is the new insight it can provide into a song I’ve taken for granted, either musically or lyrically. A gender swap of lead vocals can cast lyric meaning in very different light for instance (check out the Dudettes take on Nirvana). While a switch in instrumentation and style can highlight melodies and leads buried in the original mix (see Memo Pinzon’s version of Radiohead ) or expose a listener to a genre he or she might not usually listen to (see Delight Club’s accordion chops on Rihanna). The artists featured here were discovered by listening to Strymon-tagged posts. Enjoy the listen and may you find yourself inspired to create your own (don’t forget to tag Strymon if you do).
Delight Club kicks us off with a very groovy version of Rihanna’s “Please Don’t Stop the Music”. With its pulsing groove and moments of pure chordal-accordion goodness, this cover is an excellent example of what can happen when an artist takes a song and makes it entirely and uniquely his own.
Guitarist Joe King brings a sweetness and depth to the arpeggios of James Bay’s “Let It Go” here. The warm vocal stylings and harmonies of duo partner, Monica makes for the perfect complement to this beautiful arrangement.
Keith Thornby’s use of percussive sounds and harmonics make this acoustic version of Prince’s “Purple Rain” a joy to listen to.
The Netherland’s Dudettes serve up a haunting rendition of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” with its combination of brooding guitar, raw vocal, and sparse rhythmic arrangement.
This cover of Brian Eno’s “An Ending (Ascent)” from Perry Frank was recorded live from atop the shores of Villanova Monteleone in Sardinia near Alghero and incorporates the naturally occurring sounds of the environment into his mix. Birdsong, guitar, and synth come together to create a sound befitting the gorgeous vista below.
Want more inspiration? Check out past editions of the Cover Songs Artist Feature here and here.