Taylor Swift and Nina Simone covers, zombie surfing and more in this week's look at music
Elliot Moss: Best Light
Though just 21 years old, Elliot Moss made a strong debut with his self-produced album Highspeeds—even Zane Lowe is a fan, playing Moss' dark, minimalist pop songs on Apple Music's Beats 1 radio. Moss' new music video for Best Light stays simple like the song (which interestingly speeds up to double-time halfway through) with him performing under slow strobing lights and featuring cameos from some of his analog synthesizers. Catch Moss performing at Justin Vernon's inaugural Eaux Claires festival as well as Music Midtown in Atlanta later this summer.
Alice Smith: I Put a Spell on You (Nina Simone cover)
Originally written by Jay Hawkins, "I Put a Spell on You" made waves when the legendary Nina Simone released her bluesy, arresting version in 1965. Now, for Nina Revisited... A Tribute To Nina Simone—featuring covers by Lauryn Hill, Mary J Blige, Common and more—the talented Alice Smith has offered her take on the classic. It's an eerie, haunting interpretation befitting of the song's title: with Smith's vocals breathy at first, then climbing higher and higher to reach heartbreaking heights.
Nicolas Godin: Widerstehe Doch Der Sünde
For his first-ever solo album Contrepoint, Nicolas Godin (one half of veteran electronic music duo Air) takes inspiration from the works of Johann Sebastian Bach. The track "Widerstehe Doch Der Sünde" (translating to "stand steadfast against sin") uses the Bach church cantata of the same name as the foundation for Godin's illusory original composition. In the accompanying black-and-white music video shows (in the most poetic manner possible) zombie surfers catching waves and dancing around bonfires, to the soundtrack of Thomas Mars of Phoenix and Dorothée de Koon singing in German.
Alessia Cara: Bad Blood (Taylor Swift Cover)
Alessia Cara's anti-social anthem "Here" has been on heavy rotation at HQ for a while, and now she's delighted listeners with a cover of Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood." In this pared-down version (featuring just an accompanying pianist, Cara on guitar and some finger-snapping) the 18-year-old Canadian offers more breathy, emotional vocals—playing both Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar.
Palace: Head Above the Water
London alt-rock band Palace—made up of four friends from school—have been gaining ground with their sexy, unhurried tracks that worm their way deep inside the body. Their single "Head Above the Water," off of their latest EP Chase the Light builds on intricate, ethereal guitar riffs and sliding vocals that follow suit.