By Bekah Touma
The New Year is always exciting for me. I love to look back and make lists of some of my favorites of the previous year. It has been a ritual of mine for a while as a way to keep a nostalgic record of the years. Music is obviously a big part of how I experience life. A favorite covers list is actually something I had yet to do until now, but I already feel that it’s going to be a necessity moving forward. That said, this was an extremely difficult process. After a couple weeks (or a few months) of repeatedly listening to hundreds of tracks, I was able to narrow my engorged list down to 15. Here they are below in no particular order – to rank them would have delayed this article until the Spring:
Lissie “Pursuit of Happiness” (Kid Cudi Cover)
Although she may have started playing this cover during a 2010 tour, I’m including it on my 2011 list because it was technically released on a live EP midway through the year.
The Civil Wars “I Want You Back” (Jackson 5 Cover)
I adore this band and the fact that this song is almost unrecognizable for the first few notes. They do such a great job of making the cover truly their own.
My Morning Jacket “True Love Ways” (Buddy Holly Cover)
This track is off of a Buddy Holly cover album that came out early in the year. I actually appreciated almost every track on the album but told myself I had to narrow it down to one for this list.
Birdy “Skinny Love” (Bon Iver Cover)
I’m obviously a fan of her covers and this one continues to strike me with beauty.
Chamberlin “Little Secrets” (Passion Pit Cover)
James Blake “Limit to Your Love” (Feist Cover)
This track is off of one of my top 10 albums of the year. Another great depiction of how powerful a cover can be when an artist takes ownership of an already fantastic original song.
Oh Land “Bloodbuzz Ohio” (The National Cover)
Work Drugs “Rolling In The Deep” (Adele Cover)
Unique rendition of the song. Before hearing it I probably would have said Adele songs sould always be off limits.
Austra “Woodstock” (Joni Mitchell Cover)
She is one of my favorite new artists of the year. Such a fantastic example of taking an old favorite and making it fresh.
Bon Iver “I Can’t Make You Love Me” (Bonnie Raitt Cover)
His voice is so emotive I think he could probably sing Happy Birthday and make my soul cry.
Howth “I Will Always Love You” (Dolly Parton Cover)
Whitney’s cover in The Bodyguard definitely set the bar for this track. I thought it was interesting to hear it from a male perspective. The song still stands strong as a haunting and powerful piece of music.
June Tabor & Oysterband “Love Will Tear Us Apart” (Joy Division Cover)
Mr. Little Jeans “The Suburbs” (Arcade Fire Cover)
Arcade Fire is one of my favorite bands, so I was likely the most critical when first listening to this track. Surprisingly, the rendition made me appreciate the song in a new light.
Weezer feat. Hayley Williams “Rainbow Connection” (Kermit The Frog Cover)
Love the Muppets and couldn’t help but enjoy this one.
Willie Nelson “The Scientist” (Coldplay Cover)
I first heard this song surprisingly in the above Chipotle commercial. Aside from that fact the video is actually very impactful due hugely to Willie’s cover.
Bekah Touma is excited about and has a great appreciation for how music influences and makes its way into the everyday, in her life and others. She currently works at Format Entertainment as a Music Coordinator/Supervisor/Jackknife.