[Cover Me]: Poliça, Martina Topley Bird & Mark Lanegan and Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings

Poliça – ‘Nobody’ (Originally by Keith Sweat)
In this live clip from a show in Phoenix, AZ last year, Poliça take Keith Sweat’s seduction hip-hop and put their energised spin on it. Driven along by the band’s powerful rhythm section, ‘Nobody’ takes on the effervescent energy of tracks like ‘Dark Star’ and ‘Amongster’. Meanwhile, Keith Sweat’s braggadocio is replaced by Channy Leaneagh’s soulful echoing vocals. That is, before she modulates her down a couple of pitches to comic effect mid song (oddly enough for Athena Cage’s part). For a group whose music often comes across as committed and serious, it’s a nice touch of self-deprecating fun and a feel-good club moment.

Mark Lanegan and Martina Topley Bird – ‘Crystalised’ (Originally by The xx)
When the introverted chill of ‘Crystalised’ was first released it quickly beguiled ears across the world and singlehandedly launched The xx into the international limelight. Here, Martina Topley Bird and Mark Lanegan give it a bit of a shake up, with some help from Warpaint. Martina Topley Bird’s distinctive, laconic croon has often acted as an effective foil to another vocalist on many records, but perhaps not against a voice as gravelly as Mark Lanegan’s tombstone grumble. They make an unlikely pair, but their juxtaposing vocals work surprisingly well. Meanwhile, Warpaint surrender to the groove and ‘Crystalised’ subsequently sounds less like disaffected showgaze and more like moody graveyard funk. The song is also accompanied by some pretty stellar visuals too.

Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings – ‘Wild Horses’ (Originally by The Rolling Stones)
Possibly the greatest song the Jagger/Richards writing partnership ever produced, ‘Wild Horses’ already had a slight soul bent. In the hands of Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings though (whose fifth album Give The People What They Want recently landed) it becomes an all out soul belter, replete with horns, gospel organ and rocksteady snare snaps. While Mick Jagger’s tender emotional delivery belied his youthful earnestness, Sharon Jones pours a lifetime of experience and struggles into her wails, wringing each note for all it’s worth. Stunning.


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