The more the music world multiplies into microgenres, the more we find strange (but beautiful) bedfellows under the covers. This year saw such thrilling mashups as the operatic Antony covering the melodrama of Stevie Nicks, the former It Girls in the Go-Gos solemnly adapting Carly Rae Jepsen's song-of-the-moment "Call Me Maybe," a Vancouver singer-songwriter making a new order of a Manchester new wave band and more.
The transgender troubadour nails the Stevie Nicks classic. Rob Moose's acoustic guitar arrangement is pure honey, and Antony's deadly serious warble has never been more beautiful.
This gothy early-Nick Cave drama – "I've been contemplating suicide/But it really doesn't suit my style" – gets rebuilt with raw guitars and deadpan delivery that might trump the original.
Dan Bejar remade New Order's existential dance-floor meditation with guitars and a tempo that suggests syrup sippin' or seasickness – appropriate for a song with the lyric "On a thousand islands in the sea/I see a thousand people just like me."
Sure, it inspired more covers than any hit since Gnarls met Barkley. But these California girls seized it with zero irony, punking up a rock-wise femme-pop nugget that couldn’t have existed without them.
Can a singer cover his own song? He can with the help of musicians from the four corners of the Internet. Gotye's witty supercut of "Somebody That I Used to Know" weaves dozens of YouTube covers – vocal choirs, a xylophonist, a saxman, a dude shredding a metal solo – into a beautiful vision of digital-age democracy.