“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness,” Oscar Wilde once wrote, expanding upon the English writer and cleric Charles Caleb Colton’s original, now-famous declaration.
In music, such imitation is commonplace, as artists often pay tribute to their songwriting heroes and peers by covering—and in some cases, reimagining—their original compositions. And while others’ renditions seldom eclipse the original versions, some of these fresh interpretations are well beyond the realm of mediocrity, approaching greatness in their own right.
Today, we’re celebrating Keane’s breakthrough single “Somewhere Only We Know” from their 2004 debut album Hopes and Fears via Kacey Musgraves’ recent cover version performed live in the BBC Radio 2 Piano Room studio. Watch her performance and revisit Keane’s original version below. And if you haven’t had the pleasure of indulging in the brilliance of Musgraves’ latest album Golden Hour, add it to your collection here.