Mix Tape Monday: International Cover Songs

One of the beautiful things about music (and art in general) is how it evolves and is reinterpreted through different artists. Check out these awesome song covers and see how they are transformed!


Ben L’Oncle Soul – Seven Nation Army (covering The White Stripes). I am hard pressed to choose which version of Seven Nation Army I like better. When I listened to this soul version by French artist Ben L’Oncle Soul I almost forgot what the original sounded like.

Hozier – Sweet Thing (covering Van Morrison). Hozier I love you. There was a week where I listened to this song everyday when I got home. I may have even sung it to myself on my walk home (so Bostonians that girl singing to herself in Cambridge…that’s me).

G-Dragon – This Love (covering Maroon 5). This list would not be complete without Korean star G-Dragon! This Love takes a surprisingly smooth transition into a Korean rap. That’s right I said Korean rap. Check it out!

Piano Guys and Alex Boye – Peponi (cover of Coldplay’s Paradise). Behold, two covers for the price of one! This is both an instrumental cover AND a translation of Coldplay’s Paradise by internet sensation the Piano Guys and Alex Boye. Alex sings in English, Yoruba, and Swahili in addition to his own version of scat. All this combined makes a pretty epic cover song.

Coeur de Pirate – Ain’t No Sunshine (covering Bill Withers). It’s hard to beat Bill Withers’ original but French singer Coeur de Pirate brings a whole new haunting and tragic element to this classic song.

Which do you prefer the covers or the originals? Any good international covers I missed? Add them below.

K-Pop and Reality TV Shows: Guest Post

Today we have a guest post written by my dear friend the lovely Emily B who is a fellow international music and kpop aficionado! Hope y’all enjoy!!

Hello, hello! Today I’m going to introduce you to K-pop Star, a South Korean reality TV competition that is akin to the United State’s American Idol and The Voice.  What sets K-pop star apart from the United State’s music related reality programs is that auditions are held all around the world, not just in the parent country.

K-pop Star has held four seasons of the show.  For the first two seasons, each of the three judges represented the three largest management companies in South Korea, SM Entertainment, YG Entertainment, and JYP Entertainment.  The winner, in all four seasons, got to choose which of the three companies with which they would debut and sign a contract.

Enough with the technicalities, it is time for some music!

Park Ji-min was only fifteen-years-old when she won the first installment of K-pop stars. She signed with JYP Entertainment and formed a duo with Baek Ye-rin called 15&. Their song “Can’t Hide It” tops Korean music charts (Ji-min is on the left).

Last year, after two years of 15&, Park Ji-min announced that she would be pursuing a solo career.  Her power ballad, “Hopeless Love,” premiered just last week!


The winner of K-pop Star’s second season is the brother-sister duo Akdong Musician, made up of Lee Chan-hyuk and Lee Su-hyun.  Chan-hyuk wrote, composed, and produced their first studio album, “Play”, and Su-hyun’s voice is so pure it is ethereal. Their song “200%” topped Korean music charts.  Listen below; it is the perfect song for sunshine and warm weather.

Did you enjoy Park Ji-min and AKMU?  Check out the video below of the three musicians jamming out on season 2 of K-pop stars.


Bernard Park was crowned the winner of K-pop Star’s third season.  Specializing in ballads, he won hearts with his soulful melodies and heart wrenching lyrics.  Check out the title song on his EP “I’m. . .” below.

K-pop Star season 4 ended just a few days ago on April 12, 2015.  New Jersey native Katie Kim took home the first place prize.  She does not have a single out yet, but check out her cover of Amy Winehouse’s’ “Rehab” below.

Did you like what you heard?  You can jump over to the K-pop Star Youtube  page to check out clips from all four seasons, or watch season 4 on Hulu.  

Mix Tape Monday: Feel Good

You know Mondays mornings can be kind of a drag.

Alright let’s face it 90 % of the time they stink. Who wants to say good bye to the weekend and get up early? It’s hard to wake up happy when you have the rest of the work week staring you in the face. But don’t let those Monday blues get ya down!

Start your week off right with these tunes and it will fly by in no time.

Jung Yong Hwa with JJ LIN – Checkmate. The first step to surviving the work week is knowing that you are not alone. When you feel like the working world is against you these boys (from Korea and China respectively) have got your back!

Atif Aslam – Jeena Jeena –  Waking up Monday morning can’t be that bad with this gentleman by your side. I can see it now, me drowsing on a boat rocking to the waves in the sunshine with Atif Aslam crooning my stress away.

Also a former flautist (7th and 8th grade represent!) I fully endorse songs that rock that flute.

Nazim Ziryab – Tchakchouka. Get yourself outta bed and put on the coffee with this rollicking tune. Who can say no to the blues guitar with a berber feel by this UK based Algerian musician?

C2C – Happy. Words cannot express how much I love this song by French DJ collective C2C. Listening to this song I feel like I can conquer any work week drudgery thrown my way. Plus dancing is pretty much required. Dancing before work (or at work) will make your day better. I guarantee.

Songhoy Blues – Irganda. Are you dancing yet? This Malian band’s joyous song is great for commuting because you can bob along to beat and maybe fit in an inconspicuous shuffle or two on the train.

Anybody  have songs that make you feel prepared for the work week ahead? Put ’em in the dooblydoo below!

Mix Tape Monday: Springtime Daydreams

Hi everyone sorry for the missing post last week! I started my TEFL certification course and I got really busy (lesson plans are hard!). To make up for it I added more tracks than usual to this mix tape.

Spring has finally arrived in Boston! The snow has melted, the birds are singing, squirrels are back to stealing hot dog buns, and I can officially see the grass. In celebration of the new season here is a mix tape of dreamy upbeat tunes to put a spring in your step.

The Radio Dept. – Heaven’s on Fire. This song by Swedish band The Radio Dept. reminds me of looking at dust motes in sunbeams. You know, sparkling and soothing all at once. If you don’t know what I’m talking about just ignore my poetic leanings and listen to You Stopped Making Sense or their album Clinging to a Scheme.

The Fin – Night Time.  Another band whose whole album I love! Japan why must you be so far away from me? I like to think of this as my “staring out the car window as the world passes me by” track. For more of their dreamy tunes try  Without Excuse and Faded Light.

Alpaca Sports – Just for Fun. Spring means cute, fuzzy animals and sweetness. Behold! I have found both in one song. Let’s all go to Sweden and snuggle an alpaca or two (They’re so fluffy I’m gonna die!).

The Pony – Good – Bye. If your daydreams need a little edge try this shoegaze track from Korean group The Pony. Listen to 왼편에서. Want more rock? I also adore their other track Disturbance.

Highasakite – Leaving No Traces.  A Norweigan band with gardens, Adam and Eve, nature sounds, and Victorian poetry references what what more do you need?

Thornapple 쏜애플 – 낯선 열대. This song starts out dreamy and slow like a whisper in your ear and then BAM! It changes pace. I always enjoy listening to this. Listen to Why for more by this Korean band.


What songs scream spring to you? List ’em below!