The internet is filled with talented people hoping to jumpstart their singing careers by covering popular songs and posting them on YouTube (hi, Justin Bieber). Of course there are established artists who decide to do covers too, but there's something amazing about hearing a complete stranger belt out your favorite song from your favorite artist and make it sound even better than the original.
Here, a roundup of the best new covers released in 2018, including singers you'll recognize and ones you won't—but you'll want to research them immediately.
"Moon River" - Frank Ocean
You'll recognize "Moon River" from the 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany's, but Frank Ocean's version is the three minutes and eight seconds of peace we deserve after the year we all had.
"Africa" - Weezer
Rock band Weezer decided to troll its fans and cover Toto's 1982 "Africa" after a brilliant tweet lead singer Rivers Cuomo received ("@RiversCuomo it's about time you bless the rains down in africa"), which he made into the single's cover art. We can all thank Mary, who handles the account that tweeted Cuomo.
"No Tears Left to Cry" - Miley Cyrus and Mark Ronson
Miley Cyrus and Mark Ronson ended the year perfectly with their hit "Nothing Breaks Like a Heart," and the musical duo decided to slow it down by covering Ariana Grande's lead single "No Tears Left to Cry" from her Sweetener album. There's no mistaking Cyrus' easily-recognizable vocals, which are just as powerful as Grande's in the original song.
"Lucid Dreams" - Halsey
Both Halsey and Juice WRLD had themselves a year professionally. Halsey's incredible cover of Juice WRLD's "Lucid Dreams"—a much slower, intimate version—should encourage listeners to google the rapper who released his debut studio album, Goodbye & Good Riddance, in May.
"Thru Your Phone" - Morgan Saint
Morgan Saint did that with Cardi B's "Thru Your Phone." The budding pop artist released her first EP last year and has been described as a mix between , , and —an accurate description after you hear this cover.
"Call Out My Name" - Macy Kate and Sarah Baska
Macy Kate and Sarah Baska have a large fanbase on YouTube (they have a combined 1.4 million subscribers), and we suspect that number will only grow, following this incredible cover of The Weeknd's "Call Out My Name" from his six-track album, My Dear Melancholy. Their added female vocals and piano-playing are perfection.
"The Middle" - Boyce Avenue ft. Andie Case
Pop rock band Boyce Avenue and 26-year-old Andie Case, known for covering songs on YouTube, created an impressive version of Zedd, Maren Morris, and Grey's "Middle." Instead of sticking to the original dance beat, the singers slowed it down and poured their passion into the lyrics.
"Dancing on My Own" - Calum Scott
Calum Scott first sang his version of Robyn's "Dancing on My Own" in 2016, but the cover made its official debut on Scott's new album, Only Human, this past March. It's so heartbreakingly good/amazing/beautiful I totally forgot it was a cover until I wrote this article. (Sorry, Robyn fans.)
"No Scrubs" - Jorja Smith
Jorja Smith was featured on Drake's "Get It Together" from his 2017 album, More Life. Her first album, Lost & Found, debuted in June, and Smith's soulful version of TLC's iconic "No Scrubs" is just further proof of her incredible talent (especially considering that the 21-year-old was just two years old when the original was released).
"Love on the Brain" - Noah Guthrie
Hit play and you may not recover after listening to Noah Guthrie's version of Bad Gal RiRi's sultry hit "Love on the Brain." The former Glee star and YouTube cover singer performed the song with a bluesy touch during an America's Got Talent audition. It's literally everything. Everything.
"It's My House" - John Mayer
It certainly didn't help alleviate the Andy Cohen/John Mayer dating rumors when John #blessed Andy on his special birthday episode of Watch What Happens Live with a surprise cover of Diana Ross' 1979 "It's My House." As John notes, he added his "own inimitable style" to a previously untouchable Diana Ross song, and now I need to be resurrected. @JohnMayer, when's the Spotify drop?
"Palace" - Cam
Country singer Cam originally wrote "Palace" for Sam Smith a couple years ago, but didn't have the chance to put her vocals to her own lyrics. Here, she does so beautifully it hurts. Aside from covering Smith's song, she also joined him on his tour, The Thrill of It All.
"Your Song" - Lady Gaga
Gaga covered Sir Elton John's classic "Your Song" that was originally released in 1970, and I'm not sure which artist—or version—is more timeless. Decide for yourself.
"In My Blood" - Charlie Puth
Shawn Mendes' "In My Blood" made our list of the best pop songs of 2018, but Charlie Puth's soothing version is arguably better. You'll see what I mean at 1:11.
"Solo" - Lorde
Lorde can do anything, and by anything I mean imitate the inimitable Frank Ocean by putting her own twist on his 2016 song "Solo" from his third studio album, Blonde. Raise your hand if you need a Lorde/Frank collaboration asap. 🙋
If you know of any other incredible covers that are hiding out there in the World Wide Web, tweet me @rachelepstein_ with your recommendations.