It seems as if the world halted last week upon the mass discovery that the classic 90’s anthem ‘Torn’ by Natalie Imbruglia was, in fact, a cover of a song performed first by Danish singer Lis Sørensen and later recorded in the states by alt band Ednaswap. The truth is, covers aren’t at all uncommon in the music industry, and in fact can be some of the most anticipated and loved projects by artists of all genres who decide to pay homage to their favourite tunes and revamp them into something different. And audiences love them, too. From Spotify sessions dedicated solely to artists covering singles that instantly reach thousands of plays to the British BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge program which challenges musicians to take on songs completely out of their usual style which hits millions of views within days, covers prove that professional level karaoke created in studio or on a whim will always be appreciated by audiences. From stadium anthem sing alongs to mixed up versions of the classics, here are some of the best and most ambitious covers on the market today.
"Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" - STRFKR
Cyndie Lauper’s original is one of the popular ‘hate to love’ songs that’s come out of the past 30 years, but perhaps STRFKR’s take on the classic girl’s night anthem can bring a newfound love to the 80s hit, which keeps the catchy beat but scraps the hyper attitude that Lauper made famous.
"Such Great Heights" - Iron and wine
Iron and Wine severely strip down one of The Postal Service’s most famous tracks in a way that fits right in with the abundance of coffee shop acoustic playlists played on low volume in Starbucks’ across the globe. But unlike the often repetitive and irritating croon that comes from the mouths of many attempting to turn hits into low-key music best paired with a flat white, Iron and Wine’s rendition sounds natural, not desperate, and helps a fan favorite become enjoyable in a different genre.
"Say You'll Be There" - MØ
It’s not uncommon for pop stars to cover popular songs, but finding ones of quality can be a little more difficult. MØ, however, comes in with a cover of the Spice Girls' ‘Say You’ll Be There’ that is so different from the original that it’s nearly unrecognizable. Pop music has evolved heavily, and the singer’s raspy voice and techno influence prove both the timelessness of the Spice Girls and quality pop influence on music.
"Bette Davis Eyes" - Sexton Blake
"Bette Davis Eyes" is no stranger to its round of covers, and in fact, it’s most popular version is a cover itself. The track was originally recorded by Jackie DeShannon in 1974 but spent weeks at number one after a version by Kim Carnes was released in ‘81. Blake's version is soft and sweet, paying homage to the already wildly famous track with something a little more laid back.
"Under the Milky Way" - Rogue Wave
Rogue Wave dedicated an entire album to covers earlier this year, spinning nine generational tracks familiar with your both parents and fans of 80’s goth into dreamy modern-day renditions that sound hazy in the best way possible. "Under The Milky Way", originally put out by The Church, is a stand out on the album in particular, and replaces synth with low-key beats and the original bagpipe-sounding solo with a mesmerizing electric guitar moment halfway through.
"Party in the USA" - Tokyo Police Club
Back in 2011, Tokyo Police Club completed a project titled Ten Songs, Ten Years, Ten Days, producing an album in under two weeks highlighting ten of the most popular songs in the past decade. The band’s take on Miley Cyrus’ 2010 smash ‘Party in the USA’ turns the pop song effortlessly alternative and listenable for even those who avoid the mainstream at all costs. Tweaks to pay homage to the band’s hometown of Canada make this version a little more culturally diverse, celebrating a chunk of North America in its entirety.