Jan 272022
 
international covers day

Mark your calendars: February 5th is “International Covers Day.” Jana Komankova, a DJ at Prague’s Radio 1, founded the holiday last year during the pandemic and is hoping it will catch on outside the Czech Republic’s borders. We’re certainly happy to support the cause, so we hit her up with a few questions about the new holiday – and some recommendations for interesting Czech cover songs. Continue reading »

Jan 262022
 
wet leg material girl

Wet Leg are a duo from the Isle of Wight who debuted with a viral hit last summer. “Chaise Longue” sounds like a parody of post punk, almost like Flight of the Conchords doing a 21st century, professional version of The Slits or something.

Their cover of “Material Girl” has that same satirical edge, but it’s a lot more muted. It opens with a thudding chord that feels like the distorted echo of a memory of a ’60s pop song, and nothing like Madonna. A buzzing second guitar soon joins in before lead vocalist Rhian Teasdale’s lilting voice joins. She alternates between that lilt, speaking and a slighty more passionate delivery. The music behind her, the thudding rhythm guitar, the plodding drums and the buzzing, shimmery lead guitar, thump out a mechanical that sounds both 21st century and primitive. Continue reading »

Jan 252022
 
adam schlesinger tribute

Back in May 2021, Fountains of Wayne guitarist Jody Porter organized a tribute to his late bandmate Adam Schlesinger. Adam Schlesinger, A Music Celebration featured, among many others, Courtney Love, R.E.M.’s Peter Buck, Squeeze’s Glenn Tilbrook, Dashboard Confessional’s Chris Carrabba, Sean Ono Lennon, and a reunion of Schlesinger’s supergroup Tinted Windows. At the time, it was a paid livestream to raise money for musician charity MusiCares and then-closed NYC venue Bowery Electric, but now the full thing is up on YouTube. It’s a tribute to the depth of Schlesinger’s catalog that it’s two hours long and no one even covered “Stacy’s Mom”! Continue reading »

Jan 242022
 
jungle giants one kiss

Brisbane based Aussie indie rockers The Jungle Giants recently appeared on Australian radio station Triple J, where they performed thier track “Love Signs” as well as a cover of Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa‘s “One Kiss.” “We picked the song because we’ve all kind of been Dua Lipa addicts, we’ve just been following her religiously.” said vocalist Sam Hales. “One of my favorite elements of the track is that it’s really quite housey but it’s really pretty. So, when we were trying to make it we tried to follow that kind of arrangement.” Continue reading »

Jan 212022
 

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

California Dreamin' covers

Michelle Phillips had never seen snow before. She grew up in Mexico and California, so when she went to New York to stay at the Earle Hotel with her husband John, she didn’t have the right clothes. The couple had spent the day walking together, stopping by a church to warm up in the process. The next morning, John woke her up and told her to write this down.

“This” was the start of “California Dreamin’,” the Mamas and the Papas’ first big hit. It was earmarked to be Barry McGuire’s next big hit after “Eve of Destruction” – they’d recorded the backing vocals for him and everything – but then the powers that be decided to strip McGuire’s lead and add Denny Doherty’s. The Mamas and the Papas version came out first, and in Los Angeles, it did nothing. But in Boston, a town that knows a thing or two about wishing for warmth in the dead of winter, it hit big, and from there it soon made it to all of America. (Even if most of America, including Cass Elliott herself, misheard the lyric “I got down on my knees / And I pretend to pray” as “I began to pray.”)
Continue reading »

Jan 212022
 
Phosphorescent Randy Newman cover

Back in 2009, indie folkie Phosphorescent released the gorgeous Willie Nelson tribute album To Willie. He hasn’t been too profilic on the covers front since, save the occasional tribute album appearance, but that might be changing. He just launched something mysterious called The Full Moon Project with a cover of Randy Newman’s 1988 gem “Bad News From Home.” From the name and logo, Stereogum speculates The Full Moon Project will run from January through December. A new cover every month, perhaps? Continue reading »