We’ve all been there, engrossed in that inescapable YouTube cycle of BBC Live Lounge and Triple J Like A Version exclusive covers. You might start off with your favourite bands, but you soon get sucked into watching any that spark your interest, usually discovering some new musicians as you go. Some will be incredible, maybe even better than the original; others will be painful, potentially ruining the original for you forever. To save you from having to experience any of the latter, we as a music team have compiled our top ten picks of the many covers out there!
Childish Gambino – ‘So Into You’ (Tamia)
a dreamy, stripped-back version of an R&B classic, showcasing Gambino’s lyrical talent and heartfelt connection to the song.
St. Vincent – ‘Emotional Rescue’ (The Rolling Stones)
Annie Clark’s surprisingly funky, sexy twist on The Stones’ traditional rock ‘n’ roll.
Gorillaz – ‘Crystalised’ (The xx)
A touching cover revealing the more delicate, mellow side of Gorillaz, with guest vocals from soul singer Daley.
Dead Or Alive – ‘That’s The Way (I Like It)’ (KC and the Sunshine Band)
An iconic, 80s dance-pop cover of a classic 70s disco bop, accompanied by a full-length music video.
Harry Styles – ‘Wild Thoughts’ (DJ Khaled ft. Rihanna, Bryson Tiller)
The ex-One Directioner continues to soar in his solo career with this guitar-fuelled rendition.
alt-J – ‘Slow Dre’ (Dr Dre/Kylie Minogue):
An exquisite mash-up cover from our favourite Uni of Leeds alumni, taking an unlikely combination of songs and completely making it work in their unique way.
Toro Y Moi – ‘Slough’ (David Brent)
The chillwave/synth-pop musician magically transforms Ricky Gervais’ hilarious ode to his hometown into a certified banger.
Joey Bada$$ – ‘When Thugs Cry’ (Prince)
A triumphant take on Prince’s legendary ‘When Doves Cry’, featuring an abundance of smooth sax and hip-hop energy.
Slaves – Shutdown (Skepta)
An unexpected, but characteristically gutsy take on this essential grime track from the punk rock duo.
The Pretty Reckless – ‘Islands’/’Love The Way You Lie’ (The xx/Eminem ft. Rihanna)
Another unlikely pair of songs drawn together into a surpisingly simple, yet powerful, unified cover.
Words by Hollie Griss.
Contributors: Alex Coogan, Jemima Skala, Keiran Suchak, Alex Gibbon, Sophia Simon-Bashall, Frank Evans.
Photo credit: Pigeons & Planes