Cover songs are like cozy aural blankets and this week's installment of Mandatory Music features a couple to keep you warm. The ubiquitous Lorde is no stranger to covers: She recently covered Kanye West and Bon Iver at a show in New York City and just put her own spin on Jeremih's 'Don't Tell 'Em' for BBC Radio 1. But we've got another from her along with a long-lost tribute performance from Soundgarden recorded during the '80s. They won't protect you against any polar vortexes, but they should at least elicit at least a little internal combustion.


'Ladder Song’ from 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay -- Part 1'

You might as well call the soundtrack to the upcoming 'Hunger Games' sequel "Lorde-apalooza." By now, everyone is well aware that the New Zealand wunderkind curated the soundtrack to 'Mockingjay -- Part 1' (but that didn't stop us from sneaking that tidbit in there one more time). Not only did she help choose all the songs on the album, she makes a cameo in many of the tracks and contributed two songs of her own -- the lead single 'Yellow Flicker Beat' and a cover of Bright Eyes' 2011 single, 'Ladder Song.' Although she was just 15 when Conor Oberst released the original, Lorde definitely makes the song her own.


'Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Again)' from 'Echo of Miles: Scattered Tracks Across the Path'

If you felt there was a definitive dearth of old-school Soundgarden in your life, the rejuvenated grunge icons have a surefire remedy. Chris Cornell and the boys (who are actually in their 50s these days) are releasing the three-disc rarities compilation, 'Echo of Miles,' on Nov. 24. In addition to the previously unreleased 'Storm,' the band have also shared their rowdy cover of Sly and the Family Stone's 'Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Again)' recorded during a Peel Session for BBC Radio in 1989.


'Peg’ from 'First Light'

Interpol guitarist Daniel Kessler is going decidedly artsy with his new side-project, Big Noble, and it doesn't get much artsier than having your music used in an installation at New York City's Sonos Studios -- which happened. The band is Kessler's collaboration with sound designer Joseph Fraioli and the pair have created an instrumental debut ('First Light' due out February) that combines atmospheric Explosions in the Sky post-rock with more experimental, avant garde exploration. Although the first song they've released, 'Peg,' clocks in at under three minutes, you get the sense the duo really stretch things out on the full album.


'What's Inside Your Heart’ (Live) from 'Live In San Francisco'

Sure, prolific garage rock purveyor Ty Segall already released one albums this year ('Manipulator') and plans to put out a collection of what he calls "now-out-of-print sides" called '$ingle$ 2' (a follow-up to his 2010 cassette release, '$ingle$'). That doesn't mean he can't kick off 2015 with yet another album right out of the gate. As part of Castle Face Records' new live series, Segall will release 'Live In San Francisco' on Jan. 26 featuring 10 songs recorded during a recent show at Rickshaw Stop. Segall unveiled the first tease of the album this week with a raucous rendition of 'What's Inside Your Heart.'



Dream-pop duo Keep Shelly in Athens emerged from Greece in 2010 with ethereal electronica that promptly brought them a record deal and a heaping helping of online hype. But after being a featured act at Coachella in 2012 and releasing their full-length debut, 'Home,' in 2013, breathy vocalist Sarah P announced this past January that she would no longer comprise half the band. Two months later, it was revealed that her replacement would be another breathy vocalist known only as Myrtha. 'Fractals' is the reconfigured outfit's first single together.