Our Top 10 ‘Like A Versions’ of 2017
Another year has come and gone and, as with the end of any year, it’s time recap what’s been good, what’s been great, and what’s knocked us off our feet. While 2017 has played host to some outstanding music in all wings of the industry, let’s not forget the one thing that has united Aussie music fans across all scenes and subcultures; the beloved Friday morning tradition of Like A Version. Here are our Top 10 Like A Version covers for 2017.
10. Paul Dempsey – Edge of Town
The folk-centric Dempsey took on Middle Kids’ hit in early May to much praise, most of which focused on his vocal versatility and his stylistic adaptability. Dempsey’s trademark raspy vocals and calm strumming were enough to ensure this one stayed on our mind.
9. Glass Animals – Crazy
The year was only a month old when the Oxonian indie rockers covered Gnarls Barkley’s 2006 smash hit. Providing their own quirky twist with driving percussion and electric guitar rhythms, as well as an underlying bass that grooves the eardrums, Glass Animals previewed what can be expected in three weeks’ time at Falls Festival.
8. Meg Mac – Let it Happen
Thank the lord for whoever let this happen, for what Mac came out with was truly special. Much like Alex Turner’s cover three years earlier, the Sydneysider manipulated her vocal range and Tame Impala’s original sounds to create a unique take on the Perth group’s smash hit, featuring unique sound effects, trippy guitar and the even the kitchen sink.
7. Julia Jacklin – Someday
Slowing things right down for this mid-January scorcher, Jacklin and her guitar wielding friends performed a beautifully soulful, almost-jazzy rendition of the Strokes’ 2002 blockbuster. Complete with a walking bass and a bluesy drum feel, this take keeps you warm from head to toe.
6. Alex the Astronaut – If I Could Start Today Again
You knew it was coming, but this Paul Kelly arty imitation was truly out of this world as the 22 (TWENTY TWO!!!) year-old paid tribute to one of Adelaide’s favourite sons. Her calming, reserved voice paired perfectly with a Kelly-esque acoustic guitar, backed only by an electric guitar, giving the impression of a distorted horn at first.
5. Northeast Party House – Redbone
On the eve of a Groovin the Moo circuit that would propel the party house’s popularity, the Melbournians popped into the studio to cover Childish Gambino’s much memed hit with guest vocalist Nkechi Anele. Vocalist Zach Hamilton-Reeves’ subtle falsetto tones delighted while typical Northeast notes of plucky and distorted guitar, and driving, chirpy percussion created a well layered end-product.
4. HAIM – That Don’t Impress me much
Taking their genuine love of Shania Twain to another level, the three LA sisters slowed down the 1998 hit with their smooth bass and almost country-drawl. It goes to show just how in sync the sisters are that even when they’re not performing their own hits, they knock it out of the park.
3. Ball Park Music – My Happiness
Who better to cover Brisbane’s rock gods than the city’s very own rising indie-rock-gods? Ball Park took the 2000 hottest 100 winner and made it their own, turning the classic guitar riff into a synthesizer sequence, backed by some classic electric guitar. Topped by Sam Cromack’s calming vocals and acoustic guitar, the rendition has been trumpeted around the city ever since.
2. Timberwolf – Talk is Cheap
A week after opening for Lime Cordiale across the country, Timberwolf took his saxophone and sultry vocals to Triple J for a rendition of Chet Faker’s (aka Nick Murphy) 2014 hottest 100 chart topper. Quite possibly the most sexual and sensual of this year’s Like a Versions, Timberwolf showcases his soulful voice, scat skills and funky bass for one of the most surprising performances of the year.
1. Gang of Youths – Blood
Featuring a string section to make you weep and a grand piano to make you squeak, the hottest group to come out of Sydney since INXS could do no wrong in 2017. Covering The Middle East weeks after the release of ‘Go Farther in Lightness’, David Le’aupepe’s trademark seductive baritone drew in Australia with this versatile performance, that, with tough competition, must go down as the best to come from Triple J’s Friday morning stalwart.
Winston Surfshirt – 21 Questions
In a breakout year for the surfshirts, they took on 50 Cent with a brass section of their own and smooth rhymes and rhythms.
Thundamentals ft Ev Jones – Ivy
It takes a brave man, nay, men to cover Frank Ocean, and the Blue Mountains boys, with Sydney’s Jones, gave it a red-hot crack.