Singer and songwriter Luke James Shaffer, routinely found at the top of our ‘Best of the Best’ charts, has dropped a new video cover of “Silence,” originally a collaboration between EDM producer Marshmello and soul singer Khalid. Shaffer pares back the song to its core, and then builds his own robust arrangement, in a single live take, creating a series of loops of his own percussion and backing vocals. In doing so, he emphasizes the quality of the lyrics and melody that are the backbone of the sleeper hit. Watch:
Nashville singer and songwriter Lauren Strange, along with her band the Pretty Killers, just released a cover of The Cranberries’ 1994 hit “Zombie.” Strange’s rendition of the song is faithful to the original, and allows the eclectic artist to showcase the more intense edge of her vocal spectrum, while the band stretches out on the driving backing track.
Strange has been a longtime presence on OurStage, racking up chart successes and placing as a finalist in our Intel Superstars competition. She also won the grand prize in the John Lennon International Songwriting Contest country category, among other awards. Follow her on Twitter @laurenstrange.
Austin TX singer-songwriter Chase Gassaway took a stab at some songs by friends and musical compatriots and ended up with a full album of covers, spanning from local Austin bands to classics like The Temptations. When it came to The Lumineers’ break-out hit “Ho Hey,” Gassaway abandoned the upbeat folk attitude of the original and went dark and introspective. The result is a completely new read on the song, bringing out the obsessive, haunted lyrical content. Unassuming and atmospheric, this version is frankly an improvement on the more breezy original.
The new album is called A Fly Can’t Bird, and is out February 24th.
Cover versions of songs can be hit and miss. If you’re covering a song, that generally means it’s a song you love, which hopefully means that the original is pretty damn good, which begs the question, why do another version? In most cases, the answer is simply because you felt like it, which is perfectly fine, but fans of the original are probably not going to come away feeling especially rewarded.
Then there are the more rare cases where the covering artist brings something new to the song, leaving the listener with a new appreciation for a previously unrealized dimension of the song. Such is the case with this cover of Nirvana‘s “Heart-Shaped Box,” originally from the In Utero album. It doesn’t hurt that Jes Hudak and Corvyx are two of the most interesting singers out there, who also happen to harmonize beautifully together. And that this video was shot live is all the more impressive. Enjoy.
Sky Ferreira‘s debut full-length Night Time, My Time garnered a lot of attention when it debuted this October, but not all of it was due to her catchy electropop tunes. Instead, some found fault with the album’s artwork, which features a damp Ferreira looking bored and a little grouchy in the shower. Oh, and also, her boobs are out.
In a conversation with MTV News earlier this week, the songstress addressed some of the criticism she received for deciding to appear naked in the album’s cover art.
“I wasn’t like, ‘OK, I’m going to be nude on my album cover,’ it just kind of happened,” Ferreira said to MTV News. “It wasn’t to sell records, because you don’t sell records by being nude and looking crazy.”
And, of course, Ferreira isn’t the first artist to feature nudity in her album artwork. Here are four other albums on which the artists, like this pop songstress, don’t find naked imagery to be that big of a deal.
Jane’s Addiction “ Nothing’s Shocking
Many casual fans are familiar with this Jane’s Addiction record thanks to the poppy and inoffensive “Jane Says,” which is still played ad nauseam, day after day, on every single alternative rock station nationwide, but the album actually was pretty shocking when it debuted in 1988. With chants of “Sex! Is! Violent!” and a sample of an interview with serial killer Ted Bundy, Nothing’s Shocking created quite a stir. Of course, no one should have been surprised after seeing the album art: a pair of conjoined twins sitting completely naked in a rocking chair, hair ablaze.
The music industry is still recovering from the tragic loss of Lou Reed over the weekend, and slowly but surely the tributes have begun to roll out.
Performing before a sold-out crowd in the UK last night, rock outfit Arctic Monkeys became one of the first groups to pay homage to the fallen icon in a live setting with a stunning rendition of Reed’s smash hit “Walk On The Wild Side.” The song was performed as the introduction to the band’s encore, and before they began frontman Alex Turner counted them in as the crowd went wild. You can view a high quality fan-shot video from the performance at the end of this post.
Comment below and let us know what you think of Arctic Monkeys’ take on this classic song. (more…)