Top Pop Covers from 2013 – Ameira, Alex G, Julia Sheer, Tyler Ward, Kina Grannis, Lindsey Stirling and Natalie McCool

With it nearing the end of the year, all of us at Backseat Mafia have put together our Top 10 Albums list (keep checking the site to find out what those are). In the mean time I thought I’d share with you what some of my favourite covers have been from the past year. Here are a five covers that have really stood out for me and I’ve picked songs that I’m sure just about everyone will have heard of.

Ameira – ‘I Knew You Were Trouble’ (originally by Taylor Swift)

I know there are a lot of mixed opinions about Taylor Swift, and I can find support in the arguments on both sides. Overall though I think she’s very good at writing songs, I just don’t think she’s very good at performing them. I’ve always found covers of her songs to be better versions than the original. Ameira are great at putting their own spin on popular songs, and this one in particular is a great one to see when they perform live. Changing the style to a rock version and upping the tempo is a great way to make this cover different to the original.

Alex G – ‘Royals’ (originally by Lorde)

The covers that Alex G creates would be enough to fill this list three times over but to keep it short I’ve picked one of my favourites from her recent releases. I love the original song and the fact that its simplicity is what makes it incredibly effective, so to create something from near nothing takes a great understanding of music composition and what made the work in the first place. Of all the covers of this song that are out there, this is my preferred version. Putting together a cover of this with Joey Barba adds more emphasis to this song and the backing track is incredibly well put together. They’ve managed to keep a similar feel to the original but present it in a different way, which is why I love it.

Julia Sheer – ‘One Thing’ (originally by One Direction)

I’ll state right now that I am in no way a fan of One Direction, but if a cover can change my mind about a song from a band I dislike then that is a great achievement. Putting an acoustic country style spin on the song, Julia Sheer has put her own personality into this and that is what makes it enjoyable. It’s covers like this that enforce my belief that certain songs can only be fully realised when they are performed by the right kind of artist

Natalie McCool – ‘Nightcall’/’A Real Hero’ Mash Up (originally by Kavinsky and College)

I have to admit, I prefer this cover to the original (and I do love the original) and the fact that it’s combined with ‘A Real Hero’ is an added bonus. This cover transfers the layered synth to a more simplistic palm muted guitar and creates a much deeper and involving musical tone that fits the song more. As a mash up the way the two songs are put together is seamless and work perfectly together.

Tyler Ward, Kina Grannis & Lindsey Stirling – ‘The Scientist’ (originally by Coldplay)

Granted this is an old song, but when a cover comes out that reminds you of how good a song actually is, it deserves a place on a list like this. Coming from a classical background, it’s been ingrained in me that strings can make just about anything ten times better and with Lindsey Stirling involved that’s a double win. Using beautiful harmonies across vocals and instruments, the three musicians have created a cover that shows their respect for the source material making this a joy to listen to.

 

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