Thirdstory – Death with Dignity

Sufjan Stevens is one of those artists that you either love with a raging abundant passion or you just don’t understand.

Last month, Sufjan released a live version of his critically acclaimed album “Carrie and Lowell” along with a film version on YouTube. On Friday, he released a collaborative concept album called “Planetarium.” And yes, there are psychedelic music videos to go along with each song.

With all the Sufjan things going on right now, I thought it would be fitting to feature this cover of “Death With Dignity” by Thirdstory.

New York trio Thirdstory got their break making covers on YouTube so much so that another YouTuber gone mainstream, Tori Kelly, invited them to tour with her last year. Watch their other covers here and check out “Death with Dignity” below.

FYI: This might be the saddest most poetic song you’ll hear all week.

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Snakehips ft. MØ – Redbone

I think it’s safe to say that Donald Glover a.k.a Childish Gambino is having the best year ever. He won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Television Series. His album “Awaken, My Love!” debuted at #1 on the R&B charts. And he is currently staring in the Han Solo Star Wars spin off movie as Lando Calrissian.

Then on Saturday he informally announced that he is retiring from music. Wait, what?!

I guess it’s hard keeping up with an alter ego especially when you are an actor. I bet he has a lot of existential conversations in the mirror.

During their set at BBC Radio, DJ duo Snakehips and Danish singer  gave a sultry performance of Redbone by Childish Gambino. This cover is pretty true to the original, but MØ’s raspy voice adds to the sensuality of this song.

They take the tempo up just a notch so it feels more like a 90s teen love song than a 70s baby-making jam. Cute.

BONUS LINK: Watch producer Ludwig Göransson break down the creation of “Redbone”.

#staywoke

José Gonzáles – Heartbeats

This weekend I re-watched The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. The cinematography in this film is absolutely breathtaking but what really makes it special is the incredible soundtrack featuring mostly José Gonzáles.

Gonzáles has this dreamy, whisper-y voice that feels like the perfect mixture of (the artist formerly known as) Cat Stevens and Iron and Wine but with classical guitar.

Perhaps one of the most well-known songs recorded by this handsome Argentinian-Swedish gentleman is, “Heartbeats,” but did you know that “Heartbeats” is actually a cover song?!

It was originally recorded in 2003 by another Swedish band called The Knife. Listen to the original track here. The Knife came around during the amazing electrocore revival of the early 2000s but failed to really take off and ended in 2014 Meanwhile, the Gonzales version was certified gold in the UK and of course, Scrubs.

Check out this charming recording of José Gonzáles below. Swoon-worthy.

I promise I’m not obsessed with Swedish bands.

Dirty Loops – Circus

Happy Friday ya’ll! Since the last post was pretty depressing, I thought I’d feature something more fun and upbeat!

Today I bring to you a jazzy rendition of “Circus” by Pop goddess Britney Spears covered by the Swedish band Dirty Loops.

When it comes comes to cover songs, this is about as original as it gets.

This song has all the elements of a great cover. This is a completely new style and feeling that changes the meaning of the song. How about that bass though?! I honestly prefer this to the original and I think you will too.

Dirty Loops has a bunch of other great covers on their Youtube channel that are worth checking out.

Chris Cornell – Nothing Compares 2 U

Get ready to cry.

I am sure, by now, you’ve heard of the tragic death of Sound Garden front man, Chris Cornell. It’s such a horrible shame when talented creative people end their lives at a young age.

What would 90s grunge and alterative rock have been without the help of Sound Garden, from which we would have had no Nirvana or Pearl Jam?

In the week of his death, this video resurfaced on Youtube and blew up the internet.

Watch Chris Cornell croon to  “Nothing Compares 2 U” written by Prince – another artist whose life was shattered from the earth too soon, but whose legacy will live on through fans like you and me.

 

Feel Good Inc. – Leo Moracchioli

Have you heard the new Gorillaz album yet? I have to admit, I was a little disappointed. It’s no Demon Days, that’s for sure. There are some really interesting moments, but overall it was received with less than critical acclaim.

But I still really love Damon Albarn. I could easily listen to him sing for hours. You gotta give him credit. He isn’t afraid to mix up genres. I think he is helping to push hip hop into the future.

Maybe we just aren’t ready for it yet.

Anyway, in honor of my adoration for all things Gorillaz, here is a throw back. Listen to one of the funniest and probably most unique covers of “Feel Good Inc.” by Norwegian guitarist Leo Moracchioli. Over 15 million views. Enjoy!

Bonus Link: Listen to Damon break down Andromeda on Song Exploder.

He Loves Me – Lianne La Havas

Happy Friday, folks! Today I am featuring the Jill Scott classic “He Loves Me” covered by beautiful singer/songwriter Lianne La Havas.

This was actually the first song ever I heard from Lianne La Havas. As you might guess, I was immediately hooked because she is so talented!

Of course, Jill Scott is the duchess of modern R&B. Like many people, I consider her album Who is Jill Scott: Words and Sounds Vol. 1 to be a staple on any R&B playlist.

In this clip from the French music channel Le Live, Lianne is in her element – just a girl with her guitar, happily singing one of her favorite songs. I wish the quality of the recording was better. She does another version for Billboard, but it’s all filled with marketing clips and other nonsense so we’ll stick with this clip.

If Lianne had been around when I was in middle school, I probably would have kept up practicing the guitar that I begged by parents to buy. #inspired