The Year’s Best Coverfolk, Vol. 2: The Singles (2013)
(b-sides, deep cuts, & more one-shot coverage)
As we noted in Vol. 1 of our year’s best series, we eschew the hierarchical here at Cover Lay Down, preferring celebration to criticism. This is especially true of individual tracks – there’s so much good out there, we could spread the gospel every day, and never run out of moods or music.
Even in our own niche, at the intersection of coverage and folk – where every song is part of the folkways, and every one represents a search for new meaning and new emotion in songs heard sweetly – there is more than we can ever celebrate. But at the end of the year, there are a few songs so dear, so precious, so perfect, that we work to remember them always. And sometimes, rather than struggling to put into words just why a particular song hit us so powerfully, it is time to let the songs speak for themselves.
Music soothes the savage breast, and this year was more savage than most. The songs which we have saved and savored are a hodgepodge heavy with songs which saved us in our darkest hours, and those which spoke to and for our bruised and broken hearts, helping us remember that we were not alone even as we abandoned the blog for weeks on end. Here, too, are songs which brought us joy when we needed it most. And here, too, are the songs which amazed us, and those that simply brought the world to a standstill, stoping our hearts at their bold beauty.
Our annual Best Coverfolk Singles mixtape, then, from tradtunes to obscurities to folk, pop, rock, and country favorites: 36 covers in all, and every one sublime. It was, after all, a very good year for coverage.
The Year’s Best Singles: A 2013 Coverfolk Mix [zip!]
- Sarah Jarosz: Simple Twist Of Fate (orig. Bob Dylan) [via]
- Ruth Moody: Dancing In The Dark (orig. Bruce Springsteen) [via]
- Sleeping At Last: The Safety Dance (orig. Men Without Hats) [via]
- Okkervil River: The End Of The Innocence (orig. Don Henley) [via]
- Joy Kills Sorrow: Such Great Heights (orig. Postal Service) [via]
- Noah Gundersen & The Forest Rangers: As Tears Go By (orig. Rolling Stones) [via]
- The Honey Dewdrops: Across The Universe (orig. The Beatles) [via]
- Shannon Whitworth: So Far Away (orig. Dire Straits) [via]
- Betse Ellis: Straight To Hell (orig. The Clash) [via]
- Scott Cook: The Poet Game (orig. Greg Brown) [via]
- Emerald Rae: Sugar Baby (trad.) [via]
- The Wellspring: She Loves You (orig. The Beatles) [via]
- Allysen Callery: Long Black Veil (orig. Lefty Frizzel) [via]
- Pharis & Jason Romero: Truck Driver’s Blues (orig. Cliff Bruner) [via]
- Buffalo Tales: Diamonds (orig. Rhianna) [via]
- Denison Witmer: Asa (orig. Bry Webb) [via]
- Rachel Sermanni: I Want You Back (orig. Jackson 5) [via]
- Lucy Wainwright Roche: Call Your Girlfriend (orig. Robyn) [via]
- Thea Gilmore: White Winter Hymnal (orig. Fleet Foxes) [via]
- Red Tail Ring: My Heart’s Own Love (orig. Hazel Dickens) [via]
- Jeremy Squires: Rust Or Gold (orig. Jill Andrews) [via]
- Chris Denny: Bermuda Highway (orig. My Morning Jacket) [via]
- Marika Hackman: 81 (orig. Joanna Newsom) [via]
- Jones Street Station: Wayfaring Stranger (trad.) [via]
- Homesick Elephant: Waiting Room (orig. Fugazi) [via]
- Folly Rae: Tonight I’m Getting Over You (orig. Carly Rae Jepson) [via]
- Doc Feldman & the LD50: Battle Hymn (orig. Brothers Lazaroff) [via]
- Caitlin Rose: Pink Rabbits (orig. The National) [via]
- The Deadly Gentlemen: The Kids Don’t Stand A Chance (orig. Vampire Weekend) [via]
- Laura Cortese: Life Is Good Blues (orig. Laura Viers) [via]
- Arborea: Cherry Tree Carol (trad.) [via]
- Heidi Talbott: When The Roses Come Again (orig. A.P. Carter) [via]
- LP: Something (orig. The Beatles) [via]
- Bhi Bhiman: Walk Of Life (orig. Dire Straits) [via]
- Levi Weaver: The Weight Of Lies (orig. Avett Brothers) [via]
- The Crow Quill Night Owls: On The Road Again (trad.) [via]
Cover Lay Down thrives throughout the year thanks to the support of artists, labels, promoters, and YOU. So do your part: listen, love, spread the word, and above all, purchase the music, the better to keep it alive and kicking.
And if, in the end, you’ve got goodwill to spare, and want to help keep the music flowing? Please, consider a year’s end contribution to Cover Lay Down. All gifts will go directly to bandwidth and server costs; all giftees will receive undying praise, and an exclusive download code for a special 26-track gift set of alternate favorites and rare 2013 covers otherwise unblogged. Click here to give.