Jan 182017
 
JojoPinecones

NYC jazz quartet Joelle & The Pinehurst Trio have been making music for a couple years now. Their 2014 debut album Take Me There blended originals with jazzy covers of The Cars and Tears for Fears. For album number two, they’ve renamed themselves JoJo & The Pinecones. Why the rebrand? Well they’ve added a few members, but more importantly, that new album Night & Day is a family record suitable for children and parents alike. It blends original songs with kid-friendly jazz standards. But there’s one odd-boy-out on the tracklist.

Throwing a bone to the adults who may soon be listening to this record on repeat on drives to school, the band covers an alt-rock lullaby: the Smashing PumpkinsMellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness classic “Farewell and Goodnight.” True to their style, the band turns it into a lovely jazz ballad. If only all so-called “kids music” were this classy. Continue reading »

Jan 132017
 
Joey McGee

Earlier this week, the famously nostalgia-averse U2 announced a rare look back with a tour celebrating the 30th anniversary of their iconic album The Joshua Tree. To celebrate, Texas songwriter Joey McGee has released an advanced track from his new album Terlingua Taproot, a folksy Americana cover of “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” McGee’s sincere and sparse delivery sounds like Bono in the Dust Bowl or if Woody Guthrie was covering ’80s power ballads.

“I encountered U2’s Joshua Tree at a pivotal time in my life,” McGee tells us. “Bono’s lyrics resonated with me: having already accomplished much in life, I still yearned for something richer and deeper. This cover is my attempt musically to relay that struggle – contentment with what-is vs. hope for what-can-be – with a folksy Americana vibe.” Continue reading »

Dec 012016
 
Majorleans

When we last heard from Majorleans frontman Nick Francis DiFonzo, he was paying tribute to Harry Nilsson with his EP Francis Schmancis. He’s taken on a very different source for his latest cover – but the end result still kind of sounds like a Harry Nilsson song! To bid farewell to a stressful November, he recorded a cover of the Guns ‘n’ Roses lighter-waver “November Rain.” It’s mellow and melancholy, like if Axl and Slash recorded down in Laurel Canyon. Continue reading »

Nov 282016
 
NightjacketRoof_ByDevinPedde_sm

When Jordan Wiggins first heard musician Holland Belle, he likened her voice to Mazzy Star’s Hope Sandoval. One listen to their new dream-pop band Nightjacket confirms his comparison was dead-on. Spacey and ethereal, Nightjacket’s music could soundtrack any number of cerebral David Lynch scenes – which makes their new cover song choice a perfect fit. Echo and the Bunnymen’s “The Killing Moon” is pretty dreamy as is, but Nightjacket emphasizes the track’s washed-out glamour on a beautiful new cover. Continue reading »

Oct 272016
 
My Goodness_Jake Gravbrot

It’s been a good year for covers of Tom Petty’s non-Heartbreakers tracks. Back in January we heard Jane Kramer’s great version of a Highway Companion deep cut, and now we have My Goodness covering a better-known song off a better-known album: Wildflower’s lead single “You Don’t Know How It Feels.” The Seattle duo of guitarist/vocalist Joel Schneider and drummer Andy Lum slows the song way down on their upcoming EP Islands, giving it a spooky menace just in time for Halloween.

“We were listening to a lot of Tom Petty on our last US tour, great driving music – so we decided to choose a classic and take it to a dark place,” Lum tells us. “When we started recording in Seattle, our producer Shawn suggested we play the song at double speed and slow the tape down to get this spacey, warped drum sound. It felt insane while we were tracking, but the end result was totally worth it.” Continue reading »

Oct 062016
 
KAYE_AaronSeeburger-1-lores

After years as a critical punching bag, Britney Spears has finally been embraced (or at worst begrudgingly accepted) by the cool kids. We’re seeing a lot more Britney covers from the indie world than we used to, and her hits are well-built enough to hold up under a wide variety of interpretations. The latest killer Britney cover comes from San Fermin singer Charlene Kaye, who makes “Oops!…I Did It Again” a whole lot darker. Continue reading »