After recently going to see If I Stay at the cinema, I surprisingly enjoyed the music choices so decided to check out the soundtrack from the film. One of the songs featured on it is a cover of Beyonce’s Halo by Norwegian artist Ane Brun, which doesn’t sound anything like the original but is actually quite incredible. The pop power ballad has been striped back to an acoustic like sound, and features cellist (an instrument which is also a running theme in If I Stay) Linnea Olsson. Brun’s voice is far from the overpowering vocals heard by Beyonce, but this naked take on the top 10 hit is just as soul-stirring as the original.
After listening to the track a few times, I decided to see if I could find other reinvented versions of well known songs just to hear how different they could sound. I was quite amazed by some of the ones I came across.
Daughter – Get Lucky (Daft Punk Cover)
Daughter’s debut album If You Leave is full of poignant melodies and tragic lyrics, so you’d never expect them to cover Get Lucky by Daft Punk, but they did. I have to say I pretty much hate the original, but this version transforms the song completely. It’s disco funk vibe is traded in for somewhat sombre vocals, giving new emotion to the lyrics.
Alice Jemima – No Diggity (Blackstreet Cover)
This is another superb transformation of a classic from the music industry. You would never imagine a 90s hip hop and R&B song could ever sound like this, but the heavy bass alongside minimal instrument use compliments Jemima’s voice beautifully.
The Weeknd – D.D. (Michael Jackson Cover)
Abel Tesfaye, or more commonly known by his stage name The Weeknd, is known for his falsetto range, slow tempo tracks and often explicit lyrics, but this is a different league entirely. Dubbed one of the greatest entertainers to have ever graced the stage, Michael Jackson has extremely big boots to fill, but Tesfaye doesn’t fail to deliver on this track. His own songs often contain ‘rock’ elements so this isn’t too far from what he’s used to, but he still deserves huge credit for this haunting version of Dirty Diana.
Settling. – Put A Ring On It (Beyonce Cover)
Queen B is one of the most influential artists in the music industry, so her songs are no doubt going to inspire others to create their own versions. As with Brun’s Halo cover, this version of Single Ladies has been completely transformed, so much so that it’s barely recognisable. Brisbane duo Settling. have taken away the dance pop backing track, replacing it with an acoustic guitar and brooding vocals.
There are far more covers out there that have an entirely different perspective to the originals, so here’s a list of the others that stood out to me: