Loads of soul songs are covered, sampled and generally seep their way into popular culture, and this is good. It’s always nice to hear a proper song. Think about how good Kanye West’s early stuff was. Let’s face it, he is a great rapper and the samples made his songs super radio-friendly.
So how often does it work the other way around? Would a soul version of a Les Savvy Fav or Black Flag song work? Okay, I haven’t found any soul covers by them, but there are some good ones out there.
This first one is by a girl called Hawa. I honestly don’t know anything about her other than the fact that she is obviously ace! It is a complete ‘reverse-engineer’ of a dance song. Chilled out yet suitably head-noddy. All in all, a great, great cover.
Hawa – D.A.N.C.E
Next up is a pretty new soul singer called Ben l’Oncle Soul. He’s from Tours, France, and recently released his debut album on Motown. This song has been floating around for a while now but I only heard it recently, so consider this sharing the love. There are actually plenty of good White Stripes covers out there, but this is one of my favourites.
Finally here a couple of covers released by the label Tru Thoughts. The Brighton based label counts (or has counted) Quantic, Bonobo, The Bamboos, Hot 8 Brass Band, Flevans, Alice Russel and Spanky Wilson on its roster. This is a real showcase of Trip-Hop, Acid Jazz, Funk and Nu Soul artists, all of whom are pretty damn excellent. The label put out a covers album in 2009 and my highlights include the two songs below as well as another Seven Nation Army cover, Naïve (Kooks), Last Nite (The Strokes), You’re Not Alone (Olive) and Smooth Criminal (Michael Jackson).