Ever since I was challenged by a friend from my drama class (shout out to Danny, thanks again bud!), I’ve been a regular recorder on SoundCloud, taking my favourite songs across multiple genres and having a go at my own versions. I’m no viral sensation and I haven’t reinvented the wheel, but I’ve had a lot of fun covering some of my best-loved tunes.
Unbelievably, it’s been a whole year since I dipped a toe in SoundCloud’s waters, so I’ve taken a listen down memory lane to revisit some of my favourites.
Al Green – Let’s Stay Together
This is definitely up there as one of the best Soul tracks I know. The Reverend knows how to dish out a damn smooth track, and is voice is essentially butter on toast as far as I’m concerned. I might not have a host of back-up singers or brass section, but I’ve given the song a good go with a slightly more blues-inspired feel:
Ed Sheeran – Photograph
Robbie Williams recently called Ed Sheeran the “Tom Hanks of Music”, and I’ve got to agree with him there. Despite being ginger (no one’s perfect), Ed is pretty damn lovable, and his songs are no different. Photograph and Thinking Out Loud have got to be some of the most beautiful tracks written in recent years, a far cry from ‘I know you love Shrek cos we’ve watched it 12 times’ (let’s just forget that ever happened Ed)…
My brother came to stay and after (several) drinks, we took on this song with Sam on guitar. I think it works surprisingly well being less produced and stripped back, allowing for the close harmonies to be heard more distinctly:
Shannon Saunders – Atlas
Shannon Saunders may not be a big name yet but I think she’s going to be huge. I was gutted to find out recently that she was at Budapest’s Sziget festival while I was there but I didn’t know she was playing! Her live recordings on YouTube are absolutely incredible and well worth a listen. She’s got a host of cracking songs, but my favourite is definitely Atlas. In no way have I done it the justice it deserves, especially on the guitar front, but it was fun to take the song in a slower, jazzier direction:
Amy Winehouse – Back to Black
I’d wanted to cover an Amy song for a while as a tribute, but I was slightly nervous. She had an awesome ability to take a song and just completely dominate it, especially when taking on some of the big jazz standards (Etta James and Sarah Vaughn come to mind). So I found a really cool backing track on YouTube and gave my own understated jazz version of her punchy classic:
Les Miserables – On My Own
It’s a tough fight, but Les Mis and West Side Story are the best musicals going, in my opinion. I went to see Les Mis in the West End last year and it was in my head for about six months, the only way to get rid of it being to record it before I went insane:
Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight
I love Eric Clapton. He’s a bad ass guitarist, has some killer songs, and a really warm, lovely voice. I can’t really put my finger on why, but this song is probably my favourite song of all time and is the first song I ever recorded. Whatever direction my music tastes move in, I always end up back here at some point:
What a year it’s been on SoundCloud. The next challenge I’ve set myself is to record some of my own songs, as well as experiment with some new genres. Better get cracking..