9 Awesome Song Covers

Sonia Rao , 08 Nov 2012

A classically trained musician, Indian-American artist Sonia Rao only recently revealed her voice and story to the world. With her recent appearance on NBC’s The Voice, she received praise from CeeLo Green and Christina Aguilera. Following the release of her debut album ‘Calm Her’, her song featured on MTV’s Jersey Shore. 

Sonia Rao
Sonia Rao

Everyone and their mom are creating cover videos on YouTube – acoustic versions of Rihanna songs, and hipster girls singing mellowed out Kanye lyrics. In writing this blog post, I ended up watching many of these. It is strange and wonderful how easy it is now to create something, and within the same breath share it with the world. Only a handful of covers though pay respect to the original song by purposefully not copying it, but changing it. When you cover a song, you are saying you love that song so friggin much, you want to make it your own. The following songs are 9 covers where the artists truly made the songs their own.

1) Florence & The Machine covers Mario Winan’s I Don’t Wanna Know

This wins the ‘Most surprising cover’ award. The woman’s moody vocals make your heart break when listening to this song.

2) Kimbra covers Nina Simone’s Plain Gold Ring

When Kimbra hangs out with her looping pedal, magical things happen. My guitarist Rod played this song for me on an 11 hour car ride to a gig. Listen all the way through… no really, all the way through!

3) Yael Naim covers Britney Spears’ Toxic

Yael created a dimension of sexy to this song that did not exist before.

4) Gary Jules covers Tears for Fears’ Mad World

Beautiful song, beautiful video. Jules’ version of the song was made popular by the film Donnie Darko. Alex Park then covered the cover:

5) Fiona Apple covers The Beatles’ Across The Universe

I love anything Fiona, but you really can’t get much better than Fiona AND The Beatles AND Pleasantville (the movie that popularized this cover). Enjoy reliving the awesome movie through this video.

6) Jose Gonzales covers The Knife’s Heartbeats

My good friend Janet knows how much time I spend in my car here in LA, and thus burns me CD mixes of her favorite songs. One of these CDs started off with The Knife’s Heartbeats and ended with Jose Gonzales’ cover of the same song. Still can’t decide which version I like better.

7) Jason Joseph covers MGMT’s Electric Feel

This man with two first names plays every Monday at Hotel Café in Hollywood, and every Thursday at the Wellsbourne in Westwood. I first heard this version of one of my favorite MGMT songs at his Monday show and lost my shit. He takes ‘making it your own’ to another level.

8) Pumpkin covers (but really remixes) Blind Melon’s No Rain

I know it’s a stretch to include a remix here, but I had to find a way to weave in one of my favorite artists, Pumpkin. A close friend of mine, Tobias, played this for me one night and in so doing, transported me back to middle school. Look Pumpkin up on Soundcloud if you want to hear more of his remixes. Trust me, you do!

9) Bon Iver covers Bonnie Raitt’s I Can’t Make You Love Me


Gorgeous. Bon Iver never fails to move me. His cover is more of a cover of George Michael’s cover (I’ll say ‘cover’ one more time).

I had to include both!

Stay in touch with SoniaWebsite | Facebook | YouTube | Twitter: @SoniaRao

Related Stories

Related Stories

More Malini's World