Editor’s Note: Introducing Covers From Strangers, originally developed by our own Enrique Llamas as a personal blog, this feature examines the art of the cover by sharing songs by our favorite artists, played and interpreted by amazing independent talent.
In each edition of Covers From Strangers, we share some of our favorite covers of songs by one notable artist, played by musicians across the internet. We then ask an IndieBeat featured artist to contribute a brand new cover to tie it all together.
The Artist: St. Vincent
We’re incredibly excited that St. Vincent releases her fifth studio album, Masseduction, next week–what seems to be her most personal and her largest multimedia production yet (and that’s saying something, consider there’s a brand new visual theme and character archetype to each of her albums).
We’re very passionate about the work of the godly Annie Clark here, continually captivated by her unique and forward-thinking music. Her albums are consistently on-point in capturing nuance of feeling with witty and humorous cultural criticism, tasty and textured virtuoso-level electric guitar developments, and vocals that know exactly when to be delicate or fierce, switching back and forth with charming ease. Her references, lyrically, musically, and visually are very astute in creating well-staged records that feel almost like concept albums, but retain enough detachment between songs that they each hold their own.
St. Vincent has a large discography of songs that can be covered in a variety of styles, because at the core you have incredible songwriting and attention to detail. Each of these covers show us a new side to this music, carrying on the legacy by displaying new sources of talent and thought.
The Familiar Face
Bone Police Ft. Corinne Magin – Actor Out of Work
We asked our friend Jacob Bruggman of Bone Police to cover a St. Vincent song. With the help of Corinne Magin of Liquid Velvet on vocals, and production by NRH, we’re treated to a fuzzy, distort-heavy and amazingly energetic cover of “Actor Out of Work.” I think this version amplifies the mood into more of a fun daze, with growling vocals that make the whole song feel just as disorienting and invigorating as the lyrics, “I think I love you, I think I’m mad.” The rocking electric-fade is simply badass in this track, and we’re excited that we got to partner with Bone Police to release it.
What’s also great about Bone Police is that Jake is taking a DIY, community-driven approach to merchandise as well. He is currently selling handmade Bleach Shirts to raise money for Solid Ground & the American Black Cross. Bone Police intends to develop a line of merchandise that will each donate to different causes, taking a more activist role in the indie process, as he aims to motivate other artists to do the same, using their bandstand to effect change and raise money towards worthy causes.
Bri Lamkin – Marry Me
There’s an added warmth and sincerity to this cover due to such beautiful, strong vocals. The irony and cheekiness of the original song dissolves into this sweet and tender version, complete with comforting harmonies and a reminiscing tone.
Josue Bravo – All My Stars Aligned
Is there anything more to say, than bravo? There’s passion and musicianship displayed in the stripped-down, slowed-down version where “male vocals give it a different kind of romantic feel.”
Noiseheads – Digital Witness
Mind blowing! They owned the song and remade it into this energetic, headbanging version without losing its essence. Makes me want to get high on caffeine! As the band’s lead singer says, “This cover was inspired by St. Vincent covering “Lithium” with Nirvana at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I thought that was really badass, so then I wondered what it would be like if a rock band covered one of her tunes.”
The Short Films – The Party
A beautiful, perfectly-executed cover of a beautiful song. These guys are really good and have other great covers on their YouTube channel, make sure you check them out!
Mala Mano – Cruel
To put it simply, this guy proves that you can rock a song with just an acoustic guitar and the right attitude.
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