The cover version has taken on renewed importance during this locked-down and live show-less year, with the medium receiving a whole new wave of appreciation from artists across the world as a means of exploring new ideas, paying homage to past greats and raising spirits among miserable music fans.
Marika Hackman is one such artist who has taken the art of the cover version to heart this year, with the London-based singer-songwriter releasing ‘Covers’ — a collection of her takes on songs by the likes of Beyoncé, Radiohead and Elliott Smith — last month.
“I wanted to spend the majority of lockdown writing my fourth album, but I found it very hard to be creative in that way: to start with a blank page and make something out of nothing,” Hackman told NME recently about the motivation behind ‘Covers’. “A lot of musicians and creatives I’ve spoken to have found it to be a really uninspiring time. The world has sort of paused and there isn’t anything around that you can cling on to, to find exciting, to fuel some artistic drive.
“So I still wanted to be creative and productive because I find sitting around twiddling my thumbs to be really bad for my brain,” she added. “‘Covers’ just felt like a very easy, natural thing to choose to do that was borne out of creative frustration.”
Hackman further embraced her love of the cover version recently by delivering a soothing rendition of The Shins‘ ‘Phantom Limb’ for the latest instalment in NME‘s ongoing Home Sessions series. As an added festive treat, Hackman also revisited her seasonal 2016 track ‘Driving Under Stars’ for her special at-home performance, which you can watch in full in the above video.
For more NME Home Sessions, check out an exclusive performance from Charlatans hero Tim Burgess, Anna of the North sharing songs from her EP ‘Believe’ and Declan McKenna stripping back offerings from his second album ‘Zeros’.
Check back soon for more NME Home Sessions from music’s most influential artists, including some big names and rising stars.