here they are:
"Everybody's Talkin'" by The Tedeschi-Trucks Band: Didn't think Miss Tedeschi was gonna cover Harry Nilsson, but apparently she has now!! This being The Tedeschi-Trucks Band, though, it doesn't have the winsome, folk-y sound of the Nilsson version, but rather, a raw, blues-y, earthy one that suggests a cross between Creedence Clearwater Revival and Wilson Pickett. Personally, I'm a sucker for the bittersweet vibe of the Nilsson version, but Tedeschi and Trucks do it justice nonetheless. For their first attempt (that I know of) for a cover song, The TTB deliver a performance that gives a shiny new direction for a beloved old favorite!
"Heartbeat" by Jjamz: Ummmm...how do you PRONOUNCE the name of this band?! The first two letters are two "J"s, of which there is no such word in the English language. A website I went on said the pronunciation was "Juh-JAMZ", as though the pronunciation requires intentional "stuttering" on the first letter. Now that I've gotten that out of the way, on with the song! According to the comments I've read about this song so far, it is apparently a favorite of pop sensation Katy Perry. Though I could ordinarily care less about what Katy Perry thinks, I can see why she likes this song. It has that sort of new-wave-y 1980's groove she likes to put in her songs from time to time. From the detached vibe of "Heartbeats", though, as well as the electric guitar solo in the middle of the song, I would say the song is more alt-pop than just plain old pop, which typically earns a song extra bonus points for me. The name of this band fits it well considering how danceable this song is.
"I'm Writing A Novel" by Father John Misty: No, despite how a moniker like "Father John Misty" might sound, you're not hearing a song from some old blues or country musician who suddenly decided to make a comeback. As a matter of fact, Father John Misty is actually the alias of Fleet Foxes' ex-drummer Josh Tillman. "I'm Writing A Novel" is one of the more interesting songs for this week, as far as I'm concerned. The lyrics seem rather stream-of-consciousness ("I'm not no doctor, but that monkey might be right", and "That Canadian shaman gave a little too much to me" provide a couple examples of how random the lyrics get for this song!), and the way Father John combines acoustic guitar with a catchy beat and organ sound that wouldn't sound too out of place in a Monkees song results in quite a memorable sound for this song! Fleet Foxes were known for having a sound that paid homage to the more somber sounding folk-rock bands of the '60s and early '70s, so it only makes sense that their drummer would do a song with a similar sound. As much as I love Fleet Foxes, though, I have to admit that "I'm Writing A Novel" is a far catchier song than anything Father John did with the band!
"Rosalee" by The Chris Robinson Brotherhood: In yet another example of a rock 'n' roll time warp, the lead singer of The Black Crowes sets the dials back to the mid-1970's, with a jam band anthem that heavily recalls "Franklin's Tower" by The Grateful Dead. Even the lyrics to the song (i.e. "Is the air getting thinner, are we getting high?") would seem rather fitting for a Grateful Dead song and/or concert. Like the typical Dead song, "Rosalee" is a mellow song with complex guitar work. Even as I pictured a "music video" to this song in my head, it was of Chris Robinson and his band performing in front of a crowd at Woodstock! Woodstock was a one-time-only event, though. Perhaps Coachella isn't too far off in The Chris Robinson Brotherhood's future, though. If blues-rocker Gary Clark, Jr. got to perform there earlier this year, I don't see why Chris Robinson couldn't be next in line!
"Some Nights" by fun.: Fans of fun. who are also followers of my blog might have noticed that I skipped out on their biggest hit so far, "We Are Young", when it came out. To me, "We Are Young" had too much pop and not enough alt! It sounded like the sort of song that might be featured in a cheesy '80s teen flick. Thankfully, fun.'s latest song, "Some Nights" has sought to correct this! One of fun.'s biggest influences is Queen, and the influence of Queen is illustrated quite well in "Some Nights". The opening vocal section sounds a little like the opening vocal sections of "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "Fat Bottomed Girls", among others, and the contrast between "Some Nights"' overall pop music sound and its crunchy hard-rock electric guitars also seem like typical Queen. "Some Nights" comes off like Queen trying to cover Simon and Garfunkel's "Cecilia" (especially during the chorus). The marching band drums of "Some Nights" also manage to make this song fun (just like the name of the band!)
"The Boxer" by Mumford and Sons (featuring Paul Simon and Jerry Douglas): Was waiting for quite awhile for Mumford and Sons to come out with a newbie, and I finally got my wish! Well, MORE than that, actually!! I also got the Celtic influenced folk-rock sensations covering a Simon and Garfunkel song, WITH Paul Simon backing them up! I always thought Mumford and Sons were a little like a modern-day Simon and Garfunkel, and I guess from this version of the folk-rock classic, my comparison wasn't too far off. This version has a bit more orchestration behind it than the original, and its played at one fret above that version, but other than that, it stays quite faithful to S & G's version. I'm quite impressed. Never thought a cover song would be my fave new release of any week, but for the first time, this appears to be so, and I couldn't be happier!!