#TBT: Hoodlem – Girlfriend (NSYNC Cover)

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For this week’s #TBT we’re serving up a cover of NSYNC’s “Girlfriend” for your musical digestion, courtesy of Hoodlem. Hoodlem is another one of these new artists operating under the guise of anonymity, so information on them is lacking. What we do know is that they hail from Melbourne and identify themselves as “an anonymous project blending pulsing experimental beats, soulful vocals and crisp production.” That approach apparently fits very well with their take on NSYNC’s final single. Give it a listen below.

DOWNLOAD: Hoodlem – “Girlfriend (NSYNC Cover)”

Michael Jackson – A Place With No Name (America Cover)

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Nearly five years after his death, the illustrious King of Pop, Michael Jackson, is still showering us with jams. To build anticipation ahead of the release of his posthumous album, Xscape, MJ’s camp has released a couple of teasers on Soundcloud. They offer a glimpse into the reimagined artist and posit what he would sound like if he were still around today. With producers like Timbaland and Rodney Jerkins on board, this is a project worth getting excited over.

Nestled alongside the aforementioned teasers is “A Place With No Name,” a previously recorded cover of America’s 1972 hit “A Horse With No Name.” A snippet of the song was leaked shortly after Jackson’s death in 2009, and then again in 2013. Now you can listen to a full version of the track below.

Michael Jackson’s Xscape is set to hit iTunes on May 13th.

STREAM: Michael Jackson – “A Place With No Name (America Cover)”

Roosevelt – Small Hours (John Martyn Cover)

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Cologne-based producer Marius Lauber (Roosevelt) gives us a blissful spring stargazing tune in this unlikely cover of John Martyn’s 1977 jazz-fusion opus “Small Hours.” A steady drum machine pitter-patter and buoyant synths transform what was originally an ambient, introspective track into lush slow-motion disco. Roosevelt, who cites Arthur Russell among his chief inspirations, gives a nod here to experimental pop and jazz-folk influences you might not expect from a dance producer. Stream the cover below, then check out a haunting live rendition from the original artist here.

Roosevelt’s debut EP Elliot is out now via Greco-Roman, the Berlin/London imprint (co-founded by Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard) that helped to launch TEED and Disclosure.

STREAM: Roosevelt – “Small Hours (John Martyn Cover)”

Darkside – Planet Caravan (Black Sabbath Cover)

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Black Sabbath may not seem a natural source of inspiration for Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington’s ambient electronic collaboration Darkside, but the British hard rockers provide quite a canvas for the duo in the form of their moody, slow burning track “Planet Caravan.” Performing a cover for BBC One at Maida Vale, Jaar and Harrington exert their usual bouncy minimalism, and substitute Ozzy’s vocals for Jaar’s wobbly falsetto. The most stark difference is the drum beat, which on the Sabbath original was merely bongos. The layering of the guitars and the spacey synths somehow make the song even more astral than it was before. It’s become so thoroughly a Darkside track that it barely counts as a cover. This is music for stargazing, or perhaps, for staring at the place where the stars are supposed to be.

Check out “Planet Caravan” below and look for Dave Harrington’s solo EP Before This There Was One Heart But A Thousand Thoughts on May 5th via Other People.

STREAM: Darkside – “Planet Caravan (Black Sabbath Cover)” 

Andrew Bird – The Fake Headlines (The New Pornographers Cover)

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If you have ever been to an Andrew Bird concert, you have definitely been blown away by his incredible musicianship and his use of looping technology to create the illusion of a one-man orchestra. The highlights tend to be long, complex instrumentals like “You Woke Me Up!” or sing-along anthems such as “Plasticities” or “Fake Palindromes.” 

Unfortunately, Andrew Bird’s folkier side tends to be forgotten by most. The last few years, however, have seen the Chicago musician favor this acoustic, more old-timey side with songs like “Lusitania” with Annie Clark from St. Vincent off of 2011’s top notch Break It Yourself and a reworked version of “Orpheo” on the aforementioned record’s companion album, Hands of Glory. While Bird’s obsession with early country singers has led him to write more simplistic guitar songs, much of his focus has been with faithfully covering classic songs, including “It’s Not Easy Being Green” and various Bob Dylan and Townes Van Zandt tracks.

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Sivu – Dumb (Nirvana Cover)

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British singer-songwriter Sivu gives us a dreamy pop take on Nirvana in his cover of “Dumb.” It’s hard to please when covering such an influential band, but going for one of the deeper cuts on In Utero was a good choice. Minimalist and modern, Sivu’s keyboard-driven version feels a more fitting tribute to Kurt Cobain than the hideous statue that was recently unveiled in Aberdeen.

Sivu’s newest EP Can’t Stop Now is out on iTunes via Warner Music UK. Stream “Dumb” below.

STREAM: Sivu – “Dumb (Nirvana Cover)”

THUMPERS – Lungs (CHVRCHES Cover)

I confess — I’m a CHVRCHES fangirl. The music that those three charming Glaswegians make is the closest thing to perfection that came out of 2013, and few acts have the capability of making me want to simultaneously study the poetry of their lyrics and shake my hips. I took a few moments to dig my nose out of the gospel of CHVRCHES and listen to THUMPERS‘ cover of their song “Lungs.” I was skeptical at first, but the extra weight added by the British duo was enough to win me over. With more vocals, more percussion, and more happy, winding melodies, THUMPERS got it right in their attempt to refashion what was already stellar. Listen above.

Bombay Bicycle Club – F For You (Disclosure Cover)

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The latest in BBC Live Lounge’s highly-bloggable series of covers is a take on Disclosure‘s “F For You” from Bombay Bicycle Club. The London outfit’s take on the Mary J. Blige collab comes hot off the release of their phenomenal LP #4, So Long, See You Tomorrow. Give the cover a listen below.

DOWNLOAD: Bombay Bicycle Club – “F For You (Disclosure Cover)”

#TBT: Malcolm Mays – All The Small Things (Blink 182 Cover)

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It’s rare that a cover transforms a song into something completely unrecognizable from its original form. In his take on Blink 182’s “All The Small Things,” L.A. artist Malcolm Mays accomplishes just that. With a sultry R&B sound that mirrors that of singers like Miguel or Kwabs, Mr. Mays’ re-imagination is nothing short of mesmerizing. Maybe Blink 182 should have tried their hand at R&B. Stream the cover below.

DOWNLOAD: Malcolm Mays – “All The Small Things (Blink 182 Cover)”

The Night VI – Thinkin Bout You (Frank Ocean Cover)

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The Night VI continue their phenomenal cover series with a lush pop treatment of Frank Ocean’s “Thinkin Bout You.” If you’re at all familiar with the group — if not, their similarly-titled debut track “Thinking Of You” is a great place to start — you know that everything they touch is beautiful, this take included. Give it a listen below.

DOWNLOAD: The Night VI – “Thinkin Bout You (Frank Ocean Cover)”