Covers Music

Ibeyi – Better In Tune With The Infinite (Jay Electronica Cover)

Not many words are necessary to describe this song, and if you watch below you’ll see for yourself. It’s simple and to the point. It somehow evokes multiple spouts of goosebumps with beautiful harmonies and minimal percussion. The twins of Ibeyi took out none of the soul of Jay Electronica’s original, but twisted it in a way that touches a different part of my inner being.

Go take a walk, listen to this song, look up at the sky, let the melody take your mind away from your physical being. Let your mind wander.. because when’s the last time you truly did?

Ibeyi’s album is set to be released in February, so keep your eyes peeled!

Covers Music

TEEMID & Joie Tan – Crazy (Gnarls Barkley Cover)

There was something so pleasant about that place

Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” is one of the most memorable songs of my teenage years. I first discovered it as a freshman in high school. I went to visit my childhood best friend in England and she had just bought “St. Elsewhere”. So we listened to it incessantly and had a great laugh dancing along to the energetic tracks. “Crazy” stuck out the most though, and even today when I hear the original it makes me think of that weekend at Jenny’s.

I love that about music… how it can transport you through time- to your past self. Even listening to the TEEMID & Joie Tan cover brought my mind back to Jenny. The weird thing is, when I first listened to this cover, I was in an entirely different mindset. I was in the beginning stages of a relationship, and this song was the first piece of music we discussed. I asked him if his friends thought he was crazy (for coming to visit me, someone he barely knew), and I just happened to be listening to this song. Little occurrences of coincidence give me a kick! So, every time this song pops up on my iPod, my mind wanders to this guy, this conversation, and ultimately what didn’t sprout from his visit. Maybe we were crazy to be so brash… but when has love ever played by the rules?

Whatever this song conjures up in your mind, this version will probably lead your mind down another path than the original. It’s mellow, and Joie Tan’s voice adds to the delicate atmosphere. The repetition of vocals alongside the rising momentum of the instrumentals transport me to a soothing place. Next time you’re driving alone, put this on. Road rage? Not possible when this is playing. I’ve also found it a good prompt for introspection on a long drive.

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Generationals – Making Time


I cannot figure out why we are all so busy when we keep getting more technology and better drugs that are supposed to make us more efficient.

Arguably, we are now doing much more in the same 1,440 minutes everyone has had all along. That is one thing you can never complain about. Some people have less things to do, some people may seem like they got a head start, but we all got 1,440 minutes per day to do it in.

Life is currently swelling and coming in and I feel like I am either beached or drowning in the current. I met a stranger in a bar and we were swopping stories and they had the best stories. I love stranger’s stories, it is amazing what people say in a bar when they know you are not going to exchange numbers, it is all about just enjoying being around somebody else. But you always feel alittle inadequate when you hear what other people do. Big stories in amazing places. But there is already alot to do, and trying to see it all is already on the list.

On the walk home I was going through the list of things that were past due only by a deadline in my mind. But there is never enough time. And I realised I have not done something to that I really just loved to do in a while. With the added pressure of the world seeing what you are doing, and the socials media and whatnot, we are constantly curating a life that we are proud to show others. However true it is or however happy/overwhelmed/exhausted/bored/anxious it really makes us. What you can be sure is the only thing you would “share” is that second you looked happy and time was on your side.

I look forward to the day someone invents more time. I feel like a common question at the end of the night always is “what would you do if you didn’t have to sleep?” Learn a language, build something, read every book. If those are the passions we have and what we would spend our waking hours doing, there should be a shift to add more of them in life. Wouldn’t that be a “selfie” worth taking?


This song comes from the Wes Anderson tribute album “I Saved Latin!”, and is a cover of the classic from The Creation.The cover is a more gritty version of the original with recordings overlaid and a heavy guitar that makes you want to put your leather jacket on and get loose.

Generationals – Making Time

Covers Music

The Neighbourhood – 93 to Infinity (Souls of Mischief Cover)

The Neighbourhood has a signature sound. Sultry male vocals and a nearly hidden bass which rests in the back of all of their songs. Like the cool kid at the party. I have yet to hear one of their songs which doesn’t make you want to take your clothes off immediately. This cover urges you to do that once more.

“Feel the good vibrations.”

The boys from California don’t use the same lyrics as the ’93 original release from Souls of Mischief, but they have adapted the song which slips in to their talents like a glove. I really like this song. I feel like I can’t articulate the elements which make it pop that can’t better be expressed by just listening to it. The guitar plays simple chords reminiscent of ’90s grunge rock. You can see the guys in their white shirts and black jeans, their aviators and bravado dangling from their faces playing along with it and then getting really in to it and letting you fade out at the end. Like a perfect summer romance.

The song is perfect for summer.

The Neighbourhood – 93 to Infinity (Souls Of Mischief Cover)

Covers Music

New Navy – Breathe


As catalogued before on this very site, I am a nut for Australian bands. A recent find is New Navy, a duo from the Sydney area (as opposed to the far-away Perth, home to the Tame Impala/Pond/endless associated projects scene). Their sound is close to Two Door Cinema Club, though it leans more acoustic.

I don’t think New Navy will make a big splash any time soon, though I hope I’m wrong for their sake. They just aren’t different enough from their more successful sonic peers to make an impression live or on radio.

“So why are you writing about them?” you ask. One reason: they covered Télépopmusik’s “Breathe.”

“Breathe” was my teenage years. It’s minimal, funky house was (and remains) the ultimate song to drive, smoke and fuck to. And growing up in Los Angeles, I did plenty of driving 😉

It isn’t often that a Scottish folk singer-songwriter living in California pairs up with a live-performance French house trio to produce a global hit, especially one so utterly different as “Breathe.” Even now, you won’t hear anything like it on your local radio station (unless it’s a college station or KCRW, which all EMPT readers should be listening to online on a regular basis).

New Navy’s cover stays true to the original’s roots as a chiller, but is otherwise a complete pop-rock update. Tropical guitars flutter over a cowbell-driven beat as the vocoded vocals maintain their proper place in the background, and you can’t help but nod  your head and reach for your sunglasses.

If you dig, I recommend checking out New Navy’s label mates on the Future Classics label (including EMPT favs Flume and Jagwar Ma). Labels like FC are responsible for most of the good music you hear these days, as the big boys are focused on paydays above all else (see: ArtPop controversy). Some other fantastic labels: Ninja Tune, Stones Throw, Modular Recordings, Friends Records, Fort Knox Recordings…I could go all day.

But I’ll stop here, so you can get to listening.

New Navy – Breathe (Télépopmusik cover)

Covers Music

Capital Cities – Nothing Compares 2 U


Love is treated as this whole big, amorphous concept that no one can quite explain. Is it physical? Opposites attract? Pheromones? Genetic? It’s the soul?

Who knows, and frankly, who cares?

When you’re in love, the answer is obvious. And it’s circular. Love is what I feel for that person. Your feeling becomes the definition. How I feel now is love.

Everyone experiences love in a different way. Everyone experiences everything in their own way. My orange might be your blue, but neither one of us would ever know the difference. Some love is quiet and contained, some is loud and sloppy; some is serious and some is humorous.

But one aspect of love is constant across the spectrum:

When you love someone, nothing compares to them. Nothing. That’s my definition. Take it as you will.

Capital Cities – Nothing Compares 2 U


Ellie Goulding – Mirrors (Justin Timberlake Cover)

I am delighted that we are finally at a time where one does not need to be a ‘closet’ Justin Timberlake fan. There were some years there where it was like admitting you had questionable taste by admitting you liked JT. I can say that my 2nd concert ever, first being Hanson, was indeed N’Sync in Tampa Florida. I am a lifer. I have been out and proud for my deep love for this man since then. I was torn about his new album as talk on his reasoning for making the 20/20 album were depressing to say the least.  But what came out of it was the song of the summer and Mirrors, one of the better songs written in recent years by anyone on the pop scene. I know, these are big claims, but I stand by them.

The lyrics and musical styling of Mirrors has created such a beautiful and tragic affair. I have the conversation far too often talking about how so many songs lack depth or actual emotion that we hear today. You can  sense the calculated sound of pop in most chart toppers but this breaks through that with ethereal intent. It is depressing to think we are at a place in music where much of what is released is catchy and after 4 minutes, said nothing at all. Being able to clearly articulate human emotion is a gift and is rarely celebrated in pop. But that has arguably changed here.  This song exudes the familiar human element of mistakes in love and the appreciation you feel for someone when you want them and need them and realize how much of a hole there is after they are gone or how much was missing until you had met them.

“Cause I don’t wanna lose you now
I’m lookin’ right at the other half of me
The vacancy that sat in my heart
Is a space that now you hold
Show me how to fight for now
And I’ll tell you, baby, it was easy
Comin’ back here to you once I figured it out
You were right here all along”

And of course this cover by Ellie Goulding is going to make you all warm and fuzzy. This cover, done with the accompaniment of a piano, strips the song down even more with the tender voice of Ms. Goulding. You are left with an emotional, soulful, and personal plea that will make you appreciate pop and love once more.

Ellie Goulding – Mirrors (Justin Timberlake Cover)

Covers Music

Ellie Goulding — Tessellate (Alt-J Cover)

The dog days of summer are here, and New York City is literally a melting pot drenched in sweat, watery air conditioning units, and the chances of having a good hair day are slim to none. It’s not even 9 AM as I sit in my little house 34 stories up sipping the life out of my morning cup of coffee, and the haze has already begun to accumulate around the buildings I share the sky with. “Happy Monday,” I imagine the weather saying, “I’m going to try my best to make you as sluggish as possible — pack an extra shirt before you leave for work.” Cue to me pouring myself another cup of joe, and turning this track up.

When it comes to actually taking the time to evaluate every decision you’ve yet to make in the 24 hours ahead of you, or the ones you have made in the hours that have passed, I tend to lean heavily on the mind-over-matter method of thinking. If you imagine something (albeit worldly plausible), it can come into fruition — or at least seem like it. If a song like Goulding’s richly raw cover of Alt-J’s “Tessellate” awakens some kind of belief in you, then I say go for it — it certainly helps me.

A couple weeks back, while I was home for a weekend escaping the city, I decided to revisit Ellie’s soundcloud page. I hadn’t been in a while (which felt like a sin being such a massive fan of her’s). I, of course, played her newest single “Burn” over and over again, and when I finally decided to move down the selections, I came across this gem. Only Ellie could take a track that’s been stripped down, and strip it down some more. Her delivery is spot on: sexy, sultry, and there’s a veil of knowing innocence in the lightness of her voice. I love what she does with the electronic productions on her albums; she’s one of the few artists who use auto-tune and synths as instruments over enhancers (if you doubt that I urge you to watch any live performance she’s done, you’ll hear why). But it’s tracks like this that add a little brava to her oeuvre. Ellie can do sexy, and this is her calling card. That sax? I mean, please. It’s on point, and it deserves every bit of your sweltering Monday blues. Get lost in it, and return a little more chilled out than you were before you pressed play.

Here’s to a new week.

Ellie Goulding — Tessellate (Alt-J Cover)


Covers Music

Jai Paul – Crush (Jennifer Paige Cover)


Just who exactly is Jai Paul and what planet did he come from? Seriously, who is he? He’s one of the most enigmatic artists out there today aside from Bon Iver when Bon Iver was still Bon Iver (you feel me?). His sounds are out of this world. They spin, twirl, mix, and mash up whatever genre you think he’s falling into. One moment he’s R&B, then he’s funk, then he’s pop, then he’s indie — there is no box that can contain the full breadth of Jai Paul, and he hasn’t “officially” released his first LP. I use “officially” lightly here because the internet went bonkers over what’s been rumored to the album leak, but Paul denies it — although after reading this article, all indications say yes, it’s the real thing. Official or not, a lil’ bird dropped it in my mailbox a few weeks back and it’s been crazy ride ever since.

All of the tracks are untitled, but some have had titles attached to them. “BTSTU,” for instance, is Track 16. His effortlessly sexy “Jasmine” is Track 09, and this cover is Track 07. I had honestly forgot about this song until it resurfaced itself under Jai Paul’s name and frankly, I still don’t remember the original. I’ve listened to it since hearing this cover, but it doesn’t hold a candle to the work Paul’s done. The tension and release of the synths gives the song life while quick keyboard chord blasts give you something to flip your hair to. Paul’s voice had a tinge of sleaziness to it, which in this author’s humble opinion, is a lot more convincing than Jennifer Paige’s breathy delivery. You be the judge, though.

If “BTSTU” didn’t win you over, this track will. Get into Jai Paul. Get down to him. Get lifted by him. Get real with him.

Jai Paul – Crush (Jennifer Paige Cover)

Music Remixes

Rose Royce – Love Don’t Live Here Anymore (Valentin Huedo Remake)

rose royce

Rose Royce first released this track in 1978 on an album entitled Rose Royce III: Strikes Again!, which actually doesn’t make much sense as a title. But, it was the late ’70s and everyone was probably coming down/off of something, so we’ll let it slide. The true nature of the song is actually quite depressing,  a mournful melody of what once was. It’s relatively surprising that the singer of the lamenting tune was made famous by funkadelic tracks like Carwash and Wishing on a Star.

When you lived inside of me
There was nothin’ I could conceive
That you wouldn’t do for me
Trouble seemed so far away
You changed that right away, baby
You abandoned me
Love don’t live here anymore
Just a vacancy
Love don’t live here anymore.”

Many an artist have rendered their versions of Royce‘s hit. It’s one of those timeless tracks that seems to emerge every few years. Madonna released her own sentimental rendition in 1984, Robyn and Bounty Killer added a reggae track in 1997 and even producer Meek Mill sampled the track in 2010. Fact: Love Don’t Live Here Anymore is persistently ubiquitous. Don’t deny it. Valentin Huedo, a budding DJ out of Ibiza, Spain, puts his own house flavor on the Royce classic. The young DJ has been making a name for himself in one of the most synthed-out, electronica hotspots in the world.

Rose Royce – Love Don’t Live Here Anymore (Valentin Huedo Remake)