Let’s take a look at some great covers by female vocalists.
1. Daughter – “Get Lucky” (Daft Punk cover)
I’m up all night to the sun
He’s up all night to get sun
I’m up all night for the fun
He’s up all night to get lucky
While I absolutely love the original Daft Punk version of the song, the British indie band Daughter makes the song so much more emotional, with lead singer Elena Tonra replacing Pharrell. They make the song completely theirs. And if you love this version of “Get Lucky,” then you should definitely check out Daughter’s debut studio album called If You Leave.
2. Amanda Palmer – “Idioteque” (Radiohead cover)
Who’s in the bunker?
I have seen too much
I haven’t seen enough
You haven’t seen
The Dresden Dolls’ Amanda Palmer released a whole album where she covered a few of Radiohead’s biggest hits using her “magical ukulele.” “Idioteque” is one of those songs that I imagine is difficult to cover, but Palmer manages to put her own unique spin on it.
3. Bat for Lashes – “Use Somebody” (Kings of Leon cover)
You know that I could use somebody
You know that I could use somebody
Someone like you
I absolutely love Bat for Lashes and I might even prefer her version of “Use Somebody.”
4. Niki Barr Band – “Closer” (Nine Inch Nails cover)
You let me violate you
You let me desecrate you
You let me penetrate you
You let me complicate you
Niki Barr Band takes the original song and gives it a female twist. Lyrically, “Closer” is a very aggressive song and hearing a woman sing it is a bit… empowering.
5. Nouvelle Vague – “The Killing Moon” (Echo & The Bunnymen cover)
In starlit nights I saw you
So cruelly you kissed me
Your lips a magic world
Your sky all hung with jewels
The killing moon
Will come too soon
Nouvelle Vague is a French cover band and one song that definitely stands out to me is “The Killing Moon.”
6. Marina and the Diamonds – “Boyfriend” (Justin Bieber cover)
When I was your girlfriend, you’d always let me go
You kept me on your arm, boy, so you weren’t left alone
You could have been a better man anytime you want
But when I was your girlfriend, I always felt alone
I always felt alone
Not only does Marina take a Justin Bieber song and completely strip it down, but she changes the lyrics and meaning to something she can identify with. The original version sees Bieber pleading with a girl to date him because he would make an excellent boyfriend, but Marina alters the lyrics so it’s about a girl in an unhappy relationship.
7. Angus & Julia Stone – “You’re The One That I Want” (Olivia Newton John cover)
I got chills, they’re multiplying, and I’m losing control
‘Cause the power you’re supplying, it’s electrifying
Angus & Julia Stone’s version of “You’re The One That I Want” is slowed down, which makes it all the more beautiful.
8. The Noisettes – “When You Were Young” (The Killers cover)
And sometimes you close your eyes
And see the place that you used to live
When you were young
Back when you were young
Their voices are gorgeous and their harmonies are perfection – here, The Noisettes bring a new spin to this classic track by The Killers.
9. Chairlift – “Party” (Beyonce cover)
Your touch is driving me crazy
I can’t explain the way that I feel
Top down with the radio on
And the night belongs to us
This cover starts off with the beat to Jay-Z and Kanye’s “N***as In Paris,” which immediately gets me into party mode. Add that to this woman’s awesome vocals, and you have a pretty fantastic cover song.
10. Anya Marina – “Whatever You Like” (T.I. cover)
Stacks on deck, Patrón on ice
We can pop bottles all night
Baby, you can have whatever you like
You can have whatever you like
This is a stripped down, acoustic take on the popular hip-hop song. The song was featured in an episode of Gossip Girl, during an infamous (or maybe not-so infamous) scene in which Hilary Duff partakes in a threesome with Dan Humphrey and Dan’s best friend Vanessa.
Bridget Kelly’s “Thinking About Forever” isn’t technically a cover song. The Frank Ocean song called “Thinkin’ Bout You” was originally written by Ocean for Kelly’s debut album, but when he released his own demo version that eventually skyrocketed in popularity, Kelly renamed her version “Thinking About Forever.”
A tornado flew around my room before you came
Excuse the mess it made, it usually doesn’t rain
In Southern California, much like Arizona
My eyes don’t shed tears, but, boy, they bawl
The above is an acoustic version of the song, and it’s clear from the performance that Kelly has incredibly beautiful vocals. One has to imagine how things would have turned out if Kelly had released her track first.