The XX // Last Christmas (Radio 1 Live Lounge Cover)
It’s been a long time since I’ve been posting music, but I’m gonna try and give this whole blog thing a try for about the 1000th time. I’d say I was sorry for my absence, but you’d probably rather I apologise for returning to be honest.
Since it’s Christmas I thought I’d post something to try and get us in the holiday mood. I’m not gonna lie, I still don’t feel Christmassy at all. Hopefully this XX track will help. The trio performed the Wham cover in Radio 1’s Live Lounge today, and I’m impressed that they managed to make the irritating track a lot better by giving it this haunting ambience. Watery guitars, subdued vocals and surprisingly sharp synths give the song a bit of a groove as well, which make listening to the song even more of an odd experience.
Speaking of odd, I decided to use a photo of the band all happy and smiling to get us in that Christmas mood. If it doesn’t work for you then that’s fair enough - the joyous photo and song still weren’t enough to get me in the Christmas mood, but at least we got to see a photo of The XX that proves they do have emotions, right?
Paloma Faith // Feel The Love (Radio 1 Live Lounge Cover)
I’m too nice, aren’t I? Scrolling down my blog, all I’ve got to say about music is that it’s “good” or “brilliant”. Maybe that’s because I’m only posting good music, but maybe I’m just too nice. Okay, I was a little bit mean about Sky Ferreira, but that’s it. You’ll have to go through a load of pages to see me criticising someone without giving them a backhanded compliment to sugar coat it. Oh well.
That rant exists because I just had to say that Paloma Faith’s “Fall To Grace” is an excellent album. If you haven’t heard “Just Be”, “Black & Blue” or “Freedom”, go listen to them now. Now she’s given me something else to fawn over, with her live lounge cover of Rudimental’s “Feel The Love” yet again gaining my praises. Ditching the drum ‘n’ bass of the original, Paloma turns the song into a 90s power ballad, with a bouncy piano accompanying her rich vocals. So now I have to finish off this post with yet another compliment and conclusion; Paloma has delivered a beautifully soulful cover with this performance, and make sure you check her album out. There you go, job done.
Marina & the Diamonds // Boyfriend (Radio 1 Live Lounge Cover)
So they got Marina. Never under estimate the power of extremists like Justin. They sense any weaknesses, they pounce like jungle cats. And the whack pack just gets bigger and bigger. But at least they have a pack. I was used to being by myself, but I have never felt more alone.
Foo Fighters // Times Like These (Radio 1 Live Lounge Acoustic Version)
This would have to be one of my favourite songs of all time, let alone by the Foo Fighters. It’s such an emotional track, bringing out the best of Dave Grohl and co in what will go down as an alt-rock classic.
There’s something about ‘Times Like These’ which is so nostalgic. Even without hearing it, the song sounds familiar. That’s not to say it’s a generic rip off of something else - it just gives you that feeling.
This track is like therapy to me. It has that rare ability in a song to make you feel a little bit better no matter what is happening. That’s amazing. The acoustic version is just as good as the original, allowing you to really concentrate on the lyrics with the acoustics stripped back. I couldn’t think of a much better way to end the night than listening to this.
Arctic Monkeys // Katy On A Mission (Radio 1 Live Lounge Cover)
It’s always nice when one of your favourite bands covers a favourite song of yours, so I was pretty pleased when I heard that the Arctic Monkeys had covered Katy B in Radio 1’s live lounge today.
The band have a great history in the live lounge, and their cover of ‘Katy On A Mission’ is no exception to the rule. With heavy bass and Alex Turner’s swooning vocals, the Arctics add a vintage rock sound to the song, replacing that booming sub in Katy’s original. There’s still a bit of bass in the song, it’s just a lot more laidback and discreet. And as Fearne Cotton said, “didn’t see it coming”.
Florence + the Machine // Take Care (Live at BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge)
Florence gave a spectacular performance of Drake’s ‘Take Care’ for Radio 1’s live lounge yesterday, as she was doing the promotional rounds for her album ‘Ceremonials’.
Despite adding strings along with her soaring vocals, Florence remains pretty faithful to the original track. She even manages to completely nail Drizzy’s verses, which came as a bit of a surprise to me.
After previously giving a gorgeous rendition of Beyoncé’s ‘Halo’, the live lounge has yet again proven that Ms. Welch is a world class live act, with a voice like no other.
Robyn // With Every Heartbeat (Acoustic)
The acoustic version of Robyn’s ‘With Every Heartbeat’ which she performed at Radio 1’s Live Lounge back in 2007 is simply stunning.
Backed by only a piano, the pain and fragility in Robyn’s voice is just beautiful. She captures the heartbreak of the song in such an understated way, showing that you don’t have to be the most powerful of singers to be an amazing vocalist.
This performance is one of the best Live Lounge performances ever, surely contributing to the fact the song became a UK #1. Listen to it you’re bound to see why.
Kasabian // Video Games (Radio 1 Live Lounge Cover)
With ‘Video Games’ getting so much attention, yet another band have put their own spin on the song. Kasabian aren’t even the first band to cover the song in the live lounge, with Bombay Bicycle Club doing a rendition of the track last week.
Luckily Kasabian didn’t let us down, giving us a version of the track not too disimilar to the original. The harp has been swapped for piano, while the strings have become acoustic - however apart from that the song has been delivered in a fashion very similar to Lana Del Rey’s. While the cover is doesn’t exactly do anything groundbreaking with the song, it’s nice to hear male vocals over a track which relied so heavily on them.
This performance shows that the band can excel live, even when they are performing a more restrained track. So give it a listen and let me know what you think.