20. Harper Blynn – “Halo” (Beyoncé)
Another cover that surpasses the original, the Brooklyn band rocks it out with powerful and emotive vocals.
19. M. Ward – “Let’s Dance” (David Bowie)
No longer a song for dancing on your feet, Ward’s slow and serious rendition leads to quiet reflection. His husky voice and howling harmonica make this a heartfelt love song.
18. The Civil Wars – “Billie Jean” (Michael Jackson)
The Civil Wars
sing a pretty ditty, lending their beautiful voices to this hit and creating a lovely nod to the King of Pop.
17. Greg Laswell – “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” (Cyndi Lauper)
This bubbly-pop tune is surprisingly sweet, sung seriously by Laswell as if relaying the wishes of a daughter.
16. She & Him – “You Really Got A Hold On Me” (Smokey Robinson & the Miracles)
Grab your sweetheart and sway to this classic love song. There are no surprises, no frills, just a simply beautiful cover of a simply beautiful song.
15. The Decemberists – “Crazy On You” (Heart)
make you yearn for the summer of ‘76 when this pop song was initially released, performing in beat with the original.
14. Framing Hanley – “Lollipop” (Lil’ Wayne)
Who knew that rap would translate so well into a rock song? Framing Hanley bring a little more grit to this already roguish song.
13. Jamie Cullum – “Don’t Stop the Music” (Rihanna)
This jazzy-blues cover of Rihanna’s club hit still inspires smooth moves, but transforms the song, giving it the air of a different era from some time ago.
12. James Vincent McMorrow – “Whip My Hair” (Willow Smith)
This sounds nothing like the original, and it’s awesome. The lyrics are at odds with this slow and solemn version, but it’s the idiosyncrasies that win.
11. Ellie Goulding – “Your Song” (Elton John)
Paying tribute to her countryman, Goulding delicately revisits this timeless tune.