Jan 312020
 

Check out the best covers of past months here.

best cover songs january 2020
Angel Olsen – More Than You Know (Ann-Margret cover)

Many have covered this 1929 American songbook standard, but Angel Olsen’s solo piano cover was purportedly inspired by Ann-Margret’s 1961 take. Olsen doesn’t bring any frills or gimmicks;. If you didn’t know Olsen was one the coolest, most blog-beloved artists around, you’d think she was an unusually talented piano-jazz singer. Catch her at a cabaret near you. Continue reading »

Jan 202020
 
kid moxie

Kid Moxie’s upcoming score for indie film Not To Be Unpleasant, But We Need To Have a Serious Talk is, as film scores typically are, mostly instrumental. But it closes with a surprising cover, as Kid Moxie aka. Elena Charbila tackles Alphaville’s ’80s synth-pop classic “Big in Japan.” Her cover keeps it synthy, but adds a wistful dreampop sheen that gives it a darker undercurrent. No surprise if it sounds vaguely Twin Peak-sy; she’s worked with David Lynch and his longtime composer Angelo Badalamenti (on a new version of Blue Velvet’s “Mysteries of Love”). Continue reading »

Mar 022018
 

In Pick Five, great artists pick five cover songs that matter to them.

emel mathlouthi covers

We first discovered Emel Mathlouthi at last year’s Northside Festival. But let me be clear: when I say “discovered,” I hardly mean she was unknown. In fact, we were very late on the bandwagon; the Tunisian singer-songwriter is an international star. A few years back she became known as the “Voice of the Arab Spring” after one of her song’s became an anthem for the revolution. She even performed it at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in 2015:

As you can see in that video, her original songs are stunning. Her most recent album, Ensen, was my personal favorite album of 2017, and today she releases a follow-up set of inventive remixes of those songs titled Ensenity. You can get a taste over at The Fader.

With a voice like that, you won’t be surprised to learn she can deliver some pretty stunning covers too. She can belt “Hallelujah” with the best of ‘em, and has equally beautiful takes on David Bowie and Björk under her belt. She was even kind enough to put together a pretty mind-blowing version of “All Along the Watchtower” for my book party. It’s the rare cover that owes next to nothing to Jimi Hendrix: Continue reading »

Feb 162017
 

Welcome to Cover Me Q&A, where we take your questions about cover songs and answer them to the best of our ability.

13962644_1190304451000089_640100503666262599_n

Seuras Og is 59 and ought to know better. Tipped toward journalism by his careers teacher, he instead opted for a career in Family Medicine. He lives in Lichfield, England. His Gaelic mother would be proud to see his nom de plume, a direct translation. Less proud that he is still talking about pop music in his 60th year. This is his 3rd year of writing his essays for Cover Me. He particularly enjoys drafting whole album covers like Legend or Hunky Dory.
Continue reading »

Sep 142010
 

Taio Cruz just won’t go away. First we heard “Dynamite” sung by sassy schoolteachers. Then the song returned in our Songs of Summer 2010 post in an electro-pop guise. Now cover song addicts McFly bring their punk-pop twist to BBC’s Live Lounge. It may be the best of the three, but it’s hard to say. For such a godawful song, “Dynamite” has inspired some good covers.

The intro recalls Alphaville’s “Forever Young.” I assumed this was a coincidence, until I remembered where I’d first heard that song: as the centerpiece to the Napoleon Dynamite soundtrack. They’re clever, those McFly boys. Continue reading »

Jun 282010
 

Song of the Day posts one cool cover every morning. Catch up on past installments here.

Last week’s feature on Icelandic singer Ólöf Arnalds led me to delve deeper into Scandinavian singers. The lofi.tv Vimeo channel has a ton of great cover videos, including a bedroom version of Iron Maiden’s “The Trooper” that’s worth checking out. It was there I stumbled upon Ane Brun. She’s a Norwegian-born, Sweden-dwelling songwriter who – fun fact – is currently touring as one of Peter Gabriel‘s backup singers.

Alphaville had two hits. One of them, “Forever Young,” is enjoying a big resurgence as the basis for Jay-Z’s latest hit “Young Forever” (and by “basis,” I mean it’s like 3/4 of the song). The other is “Big in Japan,” not to be confused with the Tom Waits song of the same name. Alphaville’s debut single, the tune climbed to top of the charts in Switzerland, Germany, and Sweden. Oh, and on the super-prestigious Billboard Hot Dance Club Play list.
Continue reading »