Nov 152013
 

When Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs recorded their first Under the Covers collaboration, they were surprised that it was released with the subtitle “Vol. 1.” Whatever genius at the Shout! Factory label chose to do that deserves a raise and a promotion, as it led Sweet and Hoffs to record two more volumes. Where Volume 1 consisted of songs based in the ’60s, and Volume 2 was made up of ’70s songs, Volume 3, released this week, is all about the ’80s, the decade when Hoffs came of age as a musician and Sweet wasn’t far behind.
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Sep 182013
 

Five Good Covers presents five cross-genre reinterpretations of an oft-covered song.

Years ago, we said that the Smiths’ “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out” might be a good candidate for the Five Good Covers department. Today, finally, we’re following through. Partly to atone for the delay, and partly because of the ridiculously high number of quality covers out there, we’re throwing in an extra three covers this time. Think of them as bonus tracks of what’s arguably the quintessential Smiths song.
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Mar 282013
 

Just because Morrissey just cancelled a slew of shows due to illness doesn’t mean you can’t get your daily Moz fix in a different way. Ballerina Black, a band that describes its sound as “Driving Mope-Rock” and “Grave-Wave,” covered “The Queen Is Dead,” from The Smiths‘ eponymous album, and we think Morrissey would be pleased with it (or whatever Morrissey’s equivalent of being pleased is.) Continue reading »

Mar 272012
 

Quickies rounds up new can’t-miss covers. Download ‘em below.

Last month, the Rosebuds covered the Talking Heads. The choice was a natural – both groups deliver poppy, off-kilter melodies that worm into your head for days. Salt-n-Pepa, on the other hand, haven’t influenced Ivan and Kelly Rosebud one iota. They just re-released it for free on their new Bandcamp.
MP3: The Rosebuds – Push It (Salt-n-Pepa cover) Continue reading »

Jan 272012
 

When it comes to classics like The Smiths’ “Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want” there is definitely no shortage of covers, good and bad. The key, it seems, to covering a classic is being able to respect and capture the original, while also finding a way to add a little something new to the song. While this isn’t always an easy task, singer-songwriter Pickering Pick does a great job in his recent cover of The Smiths’ classic. Continue reading »

Dec 162011
 

When people look back in 2011 in music a decade from now, one name will come to mind: Adele. In our little world of cover songs, she dominated. Everyone covered Adele this year. It’s not just that we saw more covers of “Rolling in the Deep” than any other song; they beat out second place (probably “Pumped Up Kicks”) by like a factor of five! We generally try to look for larger cover trends in these annual wrap-ups, but it’s hard to remember anything else from this year except the year-long onslaught of Adele covers hitting our mailbox.

There’s only one “Rolling in the Deep” cover in this year’s list though. The rest are all over the place. Some of the artists listed built their covers with lush soundscapes, thick beats, and intricate string work. Others just took guitars or pianos and bowled us over with the emotion in their voices. There may not be much of an overarching “Year in Covers” narrative, but that means there’s a cover or two for everyone. From feel-good takes on rap songs to kill-yourself versions of pop songs, this year’s list features flips, flops, and genre switcheroos of all sorts. A good cover should be informed by the source material but stand on its own, and we’ll be unrolling the 50 finest examples of songs doing just that all week. Start with #50-41 on the next page and check back daily as we count down to the best cover of 2011.