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PHOTO: Anthony Catalano
Ever looked for a particular song on youtube and instead found dozens or even hundreds of cover versions? Yes, we agree, some of them undoubtedly suck, but others are true gems. Here are 5 covers of popular songs that we daresay improve on the originals.
1. Lorde’s “Royals” by Megan Davies and Emily Hackett
“Royals” is a great example of a good tune that’s gotten too much radio play. If you can bring yourself to listen to it one more time, we bet you’ll enjoy the dazzling harmonies of these two young Nashville hopefuls, who have also recorded a number of sweet originals.
2. Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” by Addie Hamilton
If there’s any justice in youtube-land, Addie will be the next Justin Bieber, but infinitely cooler. Sultry, jazzy, and soulful, this cover is sweet revenge for those of us who’ve cringed at Robin Thicke’s misogynistic gyrations.
3. The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” by Lake Street Dive
This Philly quartet of classically trained musicians isn’t just a tight band, they are also masters at the art of song reinvention: we listened to this at least a dozen times before realizing the it was a Jackson 5 cover, and then we listened to it about 100 more times, or maybe 200…
4. Miley Cyrus’s “We Can’t Stop” by Postmodern Jukebox
Cover bands who recreate songs in totally different genres is a totally different genre unto itself. With many possibilities to choose from, we decided to feature producer Scott Bradlee, the mastermind behind an “alternate universe of pop songs” ranging from this Doo-Wop version of Miley Cyrus to a 7-foot clown’s cover of Lorde, which is approximately as bizarre as it sounds.
5. Collie Buddz’s “Mary Jane (High Grade)” by Forever182
Our final entry is a cover of a less conventionally popular song. There’s no slick production or fancy filming here, just a girl playing a guitar in her bedroom – and we’re totally glad she turned on the camera and shared this jam. Like many youtube covers, the actual music doesn’t start for a while (the 1:12 point, to be exact) but we’re not holding that against Forever182, whose rich vocals and sweet arrangement have us totally hooked.