14 Cover Songs To Make You Reconsider The Originals

14 Cover Songs To Make You Reconsider The Originals

If you’ve ever heard a cover so good it makes you forget that it’s a cover, then you know how I feel about these.
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Everyone loves a good cover song, right? The best ones are songs that mix up the rhythm of the original and make it something totally new. These kinds of covers are the ones that make you stop and look at the original song in a different light. This way, you can reconsider the lyrics and think deeper about the meaning of the song.

Don’t get me wrong, some covers are bad. (You know the ones I’m talking about.) But if you’ve ever heard a cover so good it makes you forget that it’s a cover, then you know how I feel about the fourteen listed below.

14. "No Scrubs" (TLC) by Bastille

I honestly never thought I could love "No Scrubs" non-ironically. (Did anyone?!) Then I stumbled upon this insanely gorgeous SiriusXM recording of Bastille performing it, and suddenly everything I thought I knew was a lie.

13. "Renegades" (X Ambassadors) by Whitney Woerz

Yes, this is the song you've heard in those car commercials. But not like this! Instead of the masculinity of X Ambassadors, Whitney Woerz breaks it down. She abandons the almost tribal-esque nature of the original harmony and focuses instead on communicating softness. It's a cool way to hear an X Ambassadors song, because they are normally very rough.

12. "Hallelujah" (Leonard Cohen) by Rufus Wainwright

I feel like I should be comparing Rufus Wainwright’s cover to Jeff Buckley’s. I thought for years that Jeff Buckley wrote the original. (Actually, I only realized that it was Leonard Cohen’s song while writing this article. Whoops.) Either way, by keeping the melody predictable, Rufus Wainwright presents “Hallelujah” as a story instead of a song, giving listeners an easier way to see the deeper meaning. And if any song deserves to be presented as a story, it's "Hallelujah."

11. "Raw Bar OBX 2002" (Everyone Everywhere) by Into It. Over It.

Okay, so there’s little chance that you’ve even heard the original of this one. But both are so good, I couldn’t leave it off the list. Everyone Everywhere’s original includes a musical overture that is over a minute and a half long, while Into It. Over It. steps right into the singing. I don’t know if either can be considered “better.” But some people listen to songs specifically for the lyrics, and Into It. Over It. offers a neat alternative to Everyone Everywhere’s long opening.

10. "Skinny Love" (Bon Iver) by Birdy

This is the song that made Birdy, and for good reason. It displays her ability as a musician and a singer, but even more than that, her unique voice and the solo piano highlight the haunting nature of what Bon Iver wrote in a way that his folksy tunes could not.

9. "Higher Love" (Steve Winwood) by James Vincent McMorrow

If you don’t like James Vincent McMorrow, you’re wrong. He is the only person I can think of who can cover Steve Winwood and pull it off flawlessly. The original “Higher Love” is so fun, but in stripping it down, James Vincent McMorrow’s raw voice and delicate melody bring the lyrics to life.

8. "Rather Be" (Clean Bandit) by Jasmine Thompson

Lyrically, this is one of the most straightforward, relatable songs I’ve ever heard. But the heavy synth-pop of the original feels too rigid and intentional for the delicate nature of the words. Jasmine Thompson does an amazing job of bringing the effortlessness of the lyrics into the actual performance of the song. (And her hand motions in the video are mesmerizing!)

7. "Clarity" (Zedd) by Chantelle Truong

It's a shame Chantell Truong hasn't made a studio recording of this song, because it's incredible. Her voice is clear and passionate, and like Jasmine Thompson's cover of "Rather Be," this cover takes an upbeat, pop-based song and allows the musicality of it to match the lyricism.

6. "I Can't Make You Love Me/Nick of Time" (Bonnie Raitt) by Bon Iver

This cover starts with just a string of notes on the piano, tossing aside Bonnie Raitt’s guitar and drums. It gives the song an intense openness and vulnerability. Plus, Justin Vernon’s vocals are so pure, it’s as if you’re listening to actual emotion instead of emotion transferred through music. And the mashup is just plain genius.

5. "Use Somebody" (Kings of Leon) by Scala & Kolancy Brothers

There's a new movement going around certain crevices of the internet that is obsessed with "haunting" cover songs. Well, this is the best example that I have heard. Kings of Leon regularly relies on beat with their music, but the Scala & Kolancy Brothers choir rejects these classic rock vibes in favor of producing a borderline creepy (in the awesomest sense of the word) feeling.

4. "I Know Places" (Taylor Swift) by Vance Joy

When your cover is tweeted by the original artist and she asks you to open for her world tour, you know you’ve made it. Vance Joy’s laid-back, stripped version of Taylor Swift’s “I Know Places” is everything you never knew you needed from “1989.”

3. "We Built This City" (Starship) by Aron Wright and Jill Andrews

(First off, please tell me you’ve seen the Starship music video for this song. If not, go look it up immediately.) Only Grey’s Anatomy could discover a cover of this ‘90s hit heartbreaking enough to induce crying. Aron Wright and Jill Andrews harmonize beautifully, and the minimal music they use in the background is a far cry from Starship’s original in the best way possible.

2. "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" (Whitney Houston) by Bootstraps

The first time I played this song on a road trip with my best friend, she told me it “broke her.” If that’s your reaction to something, most of the time that means it’s good. With this cover, Bootstraps takes Whitney Houston’s party anthem and turns it into a poignant ballad. Like Aron Wright and Jill Andrews with “We Built This City,” Bootstraps gives “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” such a new feel that it can barely be compared to the original.

1. "God Only Knows" (The Beach Boys) by BBC Music

No Beach Boys cover will ever be as good as the original. None will even come close. That being said, if any could, it would be this one. BBC Music got a bucketful of top 2014 artists together with a full orchestra to pull off this cover of the classic love ballad. And they even brought in Brian Wilson for a cameo. You can't tell me you've heard a cover song cooler than that.

It goes without saying that these covers give listeners a new perspective on the originals. It takes a competent songwriter to put a really cool twist on something already written, and these musicians certainly achieve that. If this new movement supporting cover songs means that more cover songs will be recorded, count me in.

Cover Image Credit: BBC Music

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I Went To "The Bachelor" Auditions

And here's why you won’t be seeing me on TV.
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It’s finally time to admit my guilty pleasure: I have always been a huge fan of The Bachelor.

I can readily admit that I’ve been a part of Bachelor fantasy leagues, watch parties, solo watching — you name it, I’ve gone the whole nine yards. While I will admit that the show can be incredibly trashy at times, something about it makes me want to watch it that much more. So when I found out that The Bachelor was holding auditions in Houston, I had to investigate.

While I never had the intention of actually auditioning, there was no way I would miss an opportunity to spend some time people watching and check out the filming location of one of my favorite TV shows.

The casting location of The Bachelor, The Downtown Aquarium in Houston, was less than two blocks away from my office. I assumed that I would easily be able to spot the audition line, secretly hoping that the endless line of people would beg the question: what fish could draw THAT big of a crowd?

As I trekked around the tanks full of aquatic creatures in my bright pink dress and heels (feeling somewhat silly for being in such nice clothes in an aquarium and being really proud of myself for somewhat looking the part), I realized that these auditions would be a lot harder to find than I thought.

Finally, I followed the scent of hairspray leading me up the elevator to the third floor of the aquarium.

The doors slid open. I found myself at the end of a large line of 20-something-year-old men and women and I could feel all eyes on me, their next competitor. I watched as one woman pulled out her travel sized hair curler, someone practiced answering interview questions with a companion, and a man (who was definitely a little too old to be the next bachelor) trying out his own pick-up lines on some of the women standing next to him.

I walked to the end of the line (trying to maintain my nonchalant attitude — I don’t want to find love on a TV show). As I looked around, I realized that one woman had not taken her eyes off of me. She batted her fake eyelashes and looked at her friend, mumbling something about the *grumble mumble* “girl in the pink dress.”

I felt a wave of insecurity as I looked down at my body, immediately beginning to recognize the minor flaws in my appearance.

The string hanging off my dress, the bruise on my ankle, the smudge of mascara I was sure I had on the left corner of my eye. I could feel myself begin to sweat. These women were all so gorgeous. Everyone’s hair was perfectly in place, their eyeliner was done flawlessly, and most of them looked like they had just walked off the runway. Obviously, I stuck out like a sore thumb.

I walked over to the couches and sat down. For someone who for the most part spent most of the two hours each Monday night mocking the cast, I was shocked by how much pressure and tension I felt in the room.

A cop, stationed outside the audition room, looked over at me. After a brief explanation that I was just there to watch, he smiled and offered me a tour around the audition space. I watched the lines of beautiful people walk in and out of the space, realizing that each and every one of these contestants to-be was fixated on their own flaws rather than actually worrying about “love.”

Being with all these people, I can see why it’s so easy to get sucked into the fantasy. Reality TV sells because it’s different than real life. And really, what girl wouldn’t like a rose?

Why was I so intimidated by these people? Reality TV is actually the biggest oxymoron. In real life, one person doesn’t get to call all the shots. Every night isn’t going to be in a helicopter looking over the south of France. A real relationship depends on more than the first impression.

The best part of being in a relationship is the reality. The best part about yourself isn’t your high heels. It’s not the perfect dress or the great pick-up lines. It’s being with the person that you can be real with. While I will always be a fan of The Bachelor franchise, this was a nice dose of reality. I think I’ll stick to my cheap sushi dates and getting caught in the rain.

But for anyone who wants to be on The Bachelor, let me just tell you: Your mom was right. There really are a lot of fish in the sea. Or at least at the aquarium.

Cover Image Credit: The Cut

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11 Amazing TV Shows That Are Ending in 2019

All good things must come to an end.

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It might just be the beginning of 2019 but there are many TV series wrapping up already. There are many breathtaking and original pilots around along with several reboots coming. This might be one of the greatest year for TV.

However, all good things must come to an end. Some series have been planned out and are going to be finished while others have been cut short. Sadly, here's a list of TV series to say goodbye to this year.

1. The Big Bang Theory (CBS)

Final Date: May

12 Seasons//279 episodes

2. Orange is the New Black (Netflix)

www.youtube.com

Final Date: End of 2019

7 seasons//91 episodes

3. Jane the Virgin (CW)

www.flickr.com

Final Date: Mid-late 2019

5 seasons//100 episodes

4. Games of Thrones (HBO)

HBO

Final Date: Summer

8 Seasons//73 episodes

5. Broad City (Comedy Central)

Comedy Central

Final Date: March

5 seasons//50 episodes

6. VEEP (HBO)

HBO

Final Date: Spring

7 seasons//67 episodes

7. Homeland (Showtime)

Showtime

Final date: Summer

8 seasons//96 episodes

8. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)

Final date: January 25

4 seasons//52 episodes

9. The Affair (Showtime)

Amazon

Final Date: End of 2019

5 seasons//42 episodes

10. Friends From College (Netflix)

Final Date: End of 2019

2 seasons//16 episodes

11. Crashing (HBO)

HBO

Final Date: End of 2019

3 seasons//24 episodes

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