Music Lists

10 Weird Covers of Summer Songs

They're odd, they're unexpected—and they're better than the originals.

Festival Sherpa

Since winter is the absence of goodness and joy, it's hard to remember if summer 2018 really happened.

If it did, then the only proof is in the playlists–especially the ones Spotify likes to obnoxiously describe as "good vibes," "young and free," and "sunshowers." But as the sun seeps from our days, there's a healing indulgence in listening to our summer playlists, despite the cold.

Even better, reckoning with winter actually becomes worthwhile when listening to odd, unexpected covers of those summer hits with cool or brooding twists. From Hozier slowing down one of Demi Lovato's pop hits to Scottish newcomer Lewis Capaldi giving a gritty rendition of A Star Is Born's "Shallow," here are 10 wintry covers of last summer's hits.

1."Thank U, Next" covered by The 1975 (original by Ariana Grande)

The 1975 - thank u, next (Ariana Grande cover)

2. "One Kiss" covered by Rudimental feat. Gabriel (original by Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa)

Rudimental - One Kiss (Calvin Harris, Dua Lipa cover) in the Live Lounge

3. "Shallow" covered by Lewis Capaldi (original by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper)

Lewis Capaldi - Shallow (Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper cover) in the Live Lounge

4. "Lucid Dreams" covered by Thirty Seconds to Mars (original by Juice WRLD)

Thirty Seconds To Mars - Juice WRLD, Khalid & Post Malone mash-up (Live Lounge)

5. "Eastside" covered by Marshmello featuring Bastille (original by Benny Blanco)

Marshmello featuring Bastille - Eastside (Benny Blanco cover) in the Live Lounge

6. "Sorry Not Sorry" covered by Hozier (original by Demi Lovato)

Hozier - Sorry Not Sorry (Demi Lovato cover) in the Live Lounge

7. "God Is A Woman" covered by Tom Grennan (original by Ariana Grande)

Tom Grennan - God Is A Woman (Ariana Grande) in the Live Lounge

8. "IDGAF" covered by Panic! At the Disco (original by Dua Lipa)

Panic! At The Disco cover Dua Lipa's IDGAF in the Live Lounge

9. "Breathin" covered by Mumford & Sons (original by Ariana Grande)

Mumford & Sons - breathin (Ariana Grande cover) in the Live Lounge ft. Pêtr Aleksänder

10. "Shotgun" covered by The Vamps (original by George Ezra)

The Vamps - Shotgun (George Ezra cover) in the Live Lounge

Meg Hanson is a Brooklyn-based writer, teacher and jaywalker. Find Meg at her website and on Twitter @megsoyung.

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Englishman George Ezra rocked Terminal 5 in New York City on Tuesday night to a packed audience. "I'm George Ezra and this is my lovely band", he humbly announced to 3000 people who paid to see him. Opening to the tune of Austin Powers paying homage to Verne Troyer, Ezra followed his support Noah Kahan with 'Cassie O'', a lively classic from his debut album, 'Wanted On Voyage'.

After putting the fears of the crowd to rest in assuring us there would be songs both old and new, he began to drip feed the story of writing his new album, Staying at Tamara's, like a Netflix series that drops an episode a week. One thing we do know is that if his rustic voice didn't propel him to stardom, his storytelling skills just might have. While attempting to write another album, Ezra took off to Barcelona in search of inspiration, choosing to stay with a host instead of a hotel, in a couchsurfing style vacation.

Faceboook / Paint_Studios

His host, you may have already guessed, was named Tamara. Ezra rocked an almost overfilled Terminal 5 with hits like 'Blame It On Me' and 'Pretty Shining People', the opening track of his recently released album that you just know is set to be a hit. His smile throughout the song radiated around the venue and demonstrated to us how much he loves what he does, and how he is still a little starstruck every time he hits that stage. The song itself is based on sitting in a small Spanish cafe in the middle of the day, looking around at all the people and thinking "not one of us know what the hell we're doing here".

That's exactly the theme that features throughout his music, relatable messages that are taken from the ordinary and made extraordinary. The simplicity of 'Shotgun', not a 2nd amendment advocating song but actually about the simple bliss of riding shotgun in a car through the blazing summer heat. Deeper questions are reflected upon too, further through the album with 'All My Love' and 'Only A Human', just to demonstrate that capability in his writing.

Having caused an audience with an age range wider than the Cape Cod Canal to dance and sway uncontrollably for over an hour, Ezra dropped some shocking news. The singer-songwriter had written 'Budapest', his breakout hit, after missing his train to the city and deciding to skip visiting altogether, caused by a bottle of rum and the Eurovision Song contest the night prior. All I can say is, thank God for that.


RELEASE RADAR | Premieres from Leilani Wolfgramm, The Brinks, and Tara Beier

PLUS | New music from Whoa Dakota, DEGA, Mokita, + more!

Get ready to add a whole bunch of new artists to your ones-to-watch list on your commute home today.

RELEASE RADAR is here to give you the breakdown of your top singles, albums, and videos to check out as you head into your weekend. Get ready to jam out with some of our favorite up-and-coming artists, plus celebrate new stuff from those you already know and love.


Whoa Dakota | "We Create"

If you feel like you need a little support during this political turmoil, this single is for you. The song, which was submitted as part of NPR's Tiny Desk Contest and became a favorited submission, is pop and funk coming together to make something new and interesting. Vocalist Jessica Ott will send you into the weekend with a better perspective.

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Best Bits: "...Will you take my hand / I'd like to pretend all this chaos goes in a straight line..."

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