Last weekend, Aussie psych-pop wizards Tame Impala casually chucked a cover of Michael Jackson‘s 1996 single “Stranger In Moscow” on Soundcloud. The track’s arrival might be unexpected, but its gorgeousness is no surprise. Generously doused with swirling psychedelia, comfy synth pads and layer upon layer of reverb, it’s an effortlessly superb re-imagining that sounds fresh and retro at once. Honestly, if they hadn’t put “MJ Cover” in (double) parentheses, I would have totally bought it as a new unreleased Tame Impala song.
Out of curiosity, I launched Youtube right after to check out the original, which turned out to be a beautiful ’90s relic. Then I ended up at the track’s Wiki page and found out UK duo Alpines also recorded another lovely version which was put up on their Myspace back in 2010. I’ve unearthed that and uploaded it for your convenience below. Have a listen while I lean back and congratulate myself for such a productive day.
This 2-disc compilation has recently been released in the UK. The apt timing has a lot to do with the X Factor hype, no doubt. Similar to the Live Lounge series, it’s a mix of live performances and covers originally performed on Dermot’s show on BBC Radio 2, with 20 tracks on each disc. There’s something for everyone here, but obviously, I’m more interested in the covers offered here. The Divine Comedy’s cover of MGMT’s “Time To Pretend” truly stands out as my favorite. Neil adds his baroque touch and truly makes it his own. It’s probably my favorite MGMT cover after Jónsi’s. Another interesting choice is Lisa Hannigan’s “Playground Love”. Imogen Heap’s haunting piano cover of “Thriller” is bound to be a Halloween playlist essential. There are also other solid choices, like Fyfe Dangerfield covering Girls Aloud’s “Call The Shots”, Ellie Goulding doing Dolly Parton’s “Jolene”, Athlete tackling La Roux’s “Bulletproof” and more. If you’re a fan of acoustic live performances, and would like to get these in high quality to replace those radio rips, then I suggest giving this compilation a listen. Sample some picks after the jump.