Covers EP Review Posted June 22, 2020 By RyanAdams_NRT, Staff Reviewer
What You Need To Know Jon Foreman, the lead singer of Switchfoot, began going online nightly to perform acoustic versions of his songs when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S. Afterward, the country began closing studios and concert venues. At that point, Jon expanded his options. He performed either his own music or Switchfoot songs. Or, he covered other artists' songs. Other band members would join in on the fun (virtually, of course). They had so much fun covering other artists' music that they recorded an EP of studio covers.
On Facebook, the members of Switchfoot said, "We chose these songs because they allow us the opportunity to sing anthems of hope right alongside you even in this time of being apart. Take a spin with the Covers EP and join us in singing along with Frank Ocean, Vampire Weekend, Harry Styles, Jon Bellion, The Verve, and The Chainsmokers."
What It Sounds Like These songs definitely sound like Switchfoot–even though they're covers of other artists and styles. The band stays true to the originals, keeping the majority of the rhythms, styles, and progression of the songs while adding signature Switchfoot elements. The passion that the band has for the messages of these songs is evident. These covers sound like mid-tempo songs Switchfoot has recorded in the past. "The World You Want," Selling The News," Your Love Is A Song," and "More Than Fine" are a few examples.
Spiritual Highlights These songs, recorded by mainstream artists, have important life lessons and other positive messages. "Swim Good" is a vulnerable song about the struggles of life, but coming through as a stronger person, much like what is taught in the Book of James. Switchfoot, natives of San Diego, can definitely vibe with this song thematically, as they share, "As surfers, this feeling is what keeps us coming back to the water. This song is also a timeless reminder that we are all a part of a story bigger than ourselves. This day and age, these words are more poignant than ever."
"Harmony Hall" has a political edge to it, which fits well into the personal lives of each band member--even if not usually the band itself. Their version of the instrumental piece in the song is beautiful. It's a great cover with evident Switchfoot vibes.
"Stupid Deep" is perhaps the most Switchfoot-influenced cover. Jon Foreman's incredible vocal range reaches the same highs and lows that original artist Jon Bellion's impressive vocal range also achieves. "With the world around seemingly spinning out of control, this is a song about realizing contentment and peace is found within. At times, we're all susceptible to frantically chasing love, acceptance, contentment, you name it. Something to make us feel okay, to mend the 'stupid deep' holes in our hearts." The great life lessons we can learn from these special songs ought not to be missed.
Best Song The cover of Vampire Weekend's "Harmony Hall" fits so well with Switchfoot. For a band who strives for justice and peace, the theme and message of the song could easily be a B-side from their hit album, Where The Light Shines Through. And, no one would guess otherwise. The band's creative skills shine exceptionally well on this song. Jon Foreman would argue for "Stupid Deep" as his favorite, but I would not argue too strongly against that either though.
For Fans Of: Switchfoot, Judah and the Lion, The 1975, any of the covered artists
Bottom Line I cannot think of many artists who are already so passionate about the messages of their cover songs as much as Switchfoot has been. Jon says it well, "There is a commonality in melody, and rhythm, and lyric, and truth that speaks to me even from someone who might look different than myself. This is the beauty of music: it can take us around the world, even when we're quarantined at home." These specially-chosen songs are properly and honorably covered by Switchfoot and it lets them showcase their ever-growing and impressive creative musical prowess.