Having recently reported on Vevo being the new & exclusive home of the BBC 1 Radio 1 Live Lounge series, what better time to pull together our favourite Live Lounge performances of all. Nitelife’s reporter Claire Mullaniff had the arduous task of watching some great performances (poor claire!). She’s compiled her Top 10 Live Lounge Covers, for your viewing pleasure.
10. Paramore – King of Leon ‘Use Somebody’
Powerhouse vocalist Haley Williams strips back her usual fire to really get into the emotion of the song, just like she wrote it herself. The guitars keep it simple and acoustic, with no rhythm section, letting the sound all come together naturally. Musicians very much in sync with each other, adding their own touch to the song and changing it up completely.
9. Ed Sheeran – Christina Aguilera ‘Diirty’
With unnatural sass and rhythm for such a pale fellow, Ed basically smashes every song he touches. This is maybe the strangest pairing on our list, and it probably works the best. He can sing, but more so he can play his guitar like putting shoes on. Showing he can rap too, this cover is fun and what music is about.
8. All Time Low – SIA ‘Elastic Heart’
The pop punk heartthrobs show how much they’re grown up during this cover, with polished vocals and gentle drumming contrasting their usual sound. Like the others on this list, it doesn’t feel like they’re singing someone else’s song; instead they are comfortable and confident in making it their own.
7. Foxes – Ed Sheeran ‘Photograph’
Louise Rose’s beautiful, delicate vocals are perfect to cover this already heartfelt song. She keeps it close to the original, letting the strings and the emotions she cries out take the focus. She throws in a few lines of ‘Shine’ by Years & Years to add break up the song, showing the adaptability of her singing style and musicality.
6. Sigala and Craig David – Charlie Puth and Wiz Khalifa ‘See You Again’
The Paul Walker tribute song turned reggae shouldn’t work, but for reasons unknown, it does. Pop veteran Craig David paired with shiny new Sigala, prove that music can mean different things depending on the mood and atmosphere you add to it. Little Mix’s ‘Black Magic’ sampled in the middle for good measure, this ensemble represents everything live lounge is about; Mixing it up and adding a new touch.
5. Wolf Alive – One Direction ‘Steal My Girl’
The alt-rock band take this pop anthem and turn it into something completely different, and quite amazing. Ellie’s vocals are very Sonic Youth-esque and the boys play the guitars and drums with the same 90’s grunge feel, giving a slight shoegaze edge and memorability to the otherwise bland track.
4. Demi Lovato – Hozier ‘Take Me to Church’
Disney darlings seem to have to work harder to prove their belonging in the music industry, but Demi is a girl that shouldn’t have any doubts surrounding her. A powerhouse voice and undeniable passion, she kept this cover similar to the original, but perfectly captured the message and emotion in the song.
3. BØRNS – The Weeknd ‘I Can’t Feel My Face’
Another club song turned into something deeper with more layers, Garrett transforms this into a chilling indie track. The lyrics don’t seem as silly, and work well paired with the subtle but effective keyboard, omnichord and guitar. An unlikely pairing, but that’s what live lounge is all about.
2. Arctic Monkey’s – Drake ‘Hold On, We’re Going Home’
You’d be hard pressed to find a song that Alex Turner’s unique voice can’t improve, and this is no exception. The band don’t just put their own spin on the cover, but make it so that it could easily pass as their own original. A sleazy club song turned into a deeper (almost) love song.
1. Seconds of Summer – Bring Me The Horizon ‘Drown’
The kings of pop turn the typically heavy tune of Oli and the gang into a haunting acoustic number that leaves goosebumps on the skin. Turns out they can all play their instruments well, and have melodic voices that compliment each other. The way they perform here reminds me of early Fall Out Boy, but the spin they add is completely their own.