There’s no doubt that BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge is one of the best and most popular ways to hear our favourite acts sing – and when we say sing – we mean it. Following in the footsteps of last year, this September saw an entire month of covers from 30+ music acts ranging from Sam Smith, to Florence + the Machine as well as first-timer The Weeknd.
While a great platform to promote a new single in an acoustic, stripped back setting – it’s also a chance to hear singers take on tracks by their peers. Now that September has had its monumental run with several stand-out performances, we thought we’d take a look at our top 5 Live Lounge covers of the month – check it out!
5. RHODES – ‘Love Me Like You Do’
The Live Lounge has always been applauded for discovering and supporting up-and-comers and RHODES is just the sort of act who deserves a stage. The folk singer-songwriter promoted his debut album Wishes, featuring tracks ‘Close Your Eyes‘ and latest track ‘Let It All Go‘ with Birdy. His cover choice was rather left field – Ellie Goulding’s ‘Love Me Like You Do‘. Yet, his gentle rendition still has us hitting the repeat button, incorporating elements of soulful falsetto and dynamic strings.
4. Gabrielle Aplin – ‘Money On My Mind’
Gabrielle Aplin is no stranger to the Live Lounge having rocked previous performances of Imagine Dragons’ ‘Radioactive‘ and One Directions‘ ‘Best Song Ever‘. She may have just set a personal record with her latest cover though and this time it was Sam Smith’s ‘Money On My Mind‘. Whilst a difficult song choice with its higher register, Aplin knocks it out the park. Her delicate vocals shine against the plethora of instruments accompanying her. Just when you hear those Clean Bandit vibes – she even sings a snippet of ‘Rather Be‘!
3. James Bay – ‘Shake It Out’
There’s quite a lot of temptation to claim 2015 as James Bay’s. His debut album The Chaos and the Calm is this year’s fastest-selling debut album, and he continues to garner more and more fans with every new single release. When time came for James to cover a song, Florence + The Machine’s ‘Shake It Out‘ could never have been anticipated. Bay and his band infuse the track with a fantastic rockier edge, letting their instruments do all the talking before James adds his gravelly talent to the mix.
2. Hozier – ‘Lay Me Down’
It’s covers like Hozier’s which make us thankful for the Live Lounge‘s existence. To us, Sam Smith’s ‘Lay Me Down‘ is originally a tear-jerking ballad – not to Hozier though. The major vocalist puts his own unique spin on the track, getting a taste for funk, changing the whole entire song in the best way possible. It’s no wonder the performance is a fan favourite.
1. Demi Lovato – ‘Take Me To Church’
Demi Lovato has always been a powerhouse belter, but she’s never lived up to this title as much as she has with this cover. The ‘Cool for the Summer‘ star popped into the Live Lounge earlier on in the month and as soon as we heard that she was taking on Hozier’s ‘Take Me to Church‘, we had our eyebrows raised and our hands rubbing in excitement. Her performance truly has it all; effortless runs, flawless falsetto and raspy soul. If Demi Lovato was out to prove a point, she certainly proved it.
Do you have a favourite cover we haven’t mentioned? Let us know below!