PLAYLIST: Covers We Like Better Than the Originals

Cover Songs

Aural Fixation

By Claire Staten

It happens to any person who has a genuine care for music at all: that one song that they love when it first gets released, and then they want to wish it never exists due to the fact that Top 40 radio plays it over and over again. That catchy tune and unforgettable lyrics are a formula for disaster. On the bright side, there are musicians who can take that song and craft it into their own, redeeming the briefly lost qualities in the song. Sometimes it can be an independent artist deciding to broaden their creativity by covering a song such as any One Direction or Katy Perry song, other times it can be an artist with a more popular standing expanding their horizons. I’ve put together a list of five very well-done covers that definitely changed my mind about the original songs.

Click play to listen to the whole playlist

“What Makes You Beautiful” by The 1975

I’ve written before about how this band is a gem.  When I saw that they covered One Direction on BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge, I knew it had to be something special and I was right. This cover couldn’t be further from the original song and it’s absolutely beautiful.

“Royals” covered by American Authors

I like to consider American Authors this little secret that I rarely tell anyone, but I think this cover convinced me that I need to do the opposite. This band is insanely talented, and this cover is so neat. The chorus brings out instruments that totally enhance the words of the song.

Mashup: “Thrift Shop / No Diggity” by Ed Sheeran and Passenger

Ed Sheeran is my favorite human. He could sing the ABC’s and I would make it my ringtone, but it’s times like these where he completely blows me out of the water. He went on a radio show with Passenger and did this strange cover. Ed is known for having some underlying hip hop tones to some of his music, but this was a smooth combination between both artists’ styles as well as incredibly popular hip hop/ r&b music.

“Wake Me Up” covered by You Me At Six

I absolutely, positively despise the original version of this song. I want to say that there was one time that I listened to it and enjoyed it, but that might be borderline lying.  Every time it comes on the radio I have to change it. When I saw that this cover existed I almost skipped it over, but due to the fact that YMAS is a great band, I decided to give it a shot and boy, was I surprised. Josh Franchesci’s voice fits with this song, and I actually listen to this cover regularly.

2013 Pop Medley performed by Sam Tsui and Kurt Schneider

So this has a few overplayed anthems in it, but these two are so incredibly talented that any cover they post, I give it a shot. Sam is one of my favorite YouTube voices and he takes anything and turns it into pure magic.

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About Claire

claireFour score and seven years ago, Claire Staten was born. Okay, maybe not quite that long, more like 1992. Growing up in the most Midwestern town, Springfield, IL, a girl has no other option from having a magnificent imagination. Her passion for wanting to see new parts of the world led to the University of Missouri, where she started her latest and most fantastic adventure. She loves to spend her free time with her best gals traveling to see concerts all over the Midwest, catching the latest movies, as well as catching up on the latest in Hollywood. Abraham Lincoln is her leading man, but she also has a soft spot for penguins and minions. Finally, Claire is working on a BA in English with dreams of moving to Nashville, her favorite city in the world, to pursue a career in either writing or education. Enter her social media world either on twitter (@clairestaten) or through her blog (

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