Dec 022022
 
The Goudies

Back in college, I was in our local bar for “Acoustic Tuesday” and a guy came up on stage and played “Baby One More Time” on an acoustic guitar, as seriously as possible. I loved it but everyone around me rolled their eyes and there were even a few boos. Maybe some had heard something like this before. Maybe it seemed to obvious, to easy, or just too gimmicky.

That’s the danger with the serious acoustic guitar (or piano) cover of the goofy song everyone knows: people will likely dismiss it as a gimmick. YouTube has popularized this form in the decades since I was in college, but I still think there are plenty of people who just don’t like the idea and think these types of covers are cheap.

So there is danger is covering Will Smith’s theme song to ‘90s classic sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air with an acoustic guitar, entirely seriously. But The Goudies are up to it, particularly since they treat it like a classic folk dirge along the lines of “Long Black Veil.”

Sam Goudie’s voice is plaintive and a little old timey. Beth Goudie’s voice is ethereal in that classic folk sense. They sing the lyrics, so there’s a new vocal melody and the phrasing is almost entirely different. In this version, the lyrics convey a loss; leaving one place and becoming “king” somewhere else doesn’t sound so great. Their guitars evoke a classic folk ballad, even when there’s the solo (which is very modest).

Dec 022022
 

In Memoriam pays tribute to those who have left this world, and the songs they left us to remember them by.

Editor’s Note: Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac died on Wednesday after a brief illness. She was 79. In her honor, we’re resurrecting a post from a decade ago, lightly reworked for the sad circumstances.

Christine McVie was the Mona Lisa of ’70s rock music. She always seemed one cool remove away from the maelstrom of Fleetwood Mac, but there was a lot going on behind that sardonic gaze, and she let it out in her songs, where she specialized in first-person accounts of romances that could be right even when they felt so wrong – and, of course, vice versa. Today we’re celebrating McVie with five covers that give a whole different meaning to the phrase “one cool remove away.”
Continue reading »

Nov 302022
 
best cover songs of november 2022
Bob Dylan – I Can’t Seem to Say Goodbye (Jerry Lee Lewis cover)

Bob Dylan doesn’t change his setlists much anymore. In fact, on his recent UK and European tour, he played the exact same setlist every single night…except one. The day it was announced Jerry Lee Lewis passed away, Dylan returned to the stage after his usual finale “Every Grain of Sand.” As anyone who’s read his new book knows, Bob knows his music history. So he skipped the obvious picks and tackled the quite obscure Sun Records-era outtake “I Can’t Seem to Say Goodbye.” Continue reading »

Nov 302022
 
Alela Diane Sandy Denny

Singer-songwriter Alela Diane has been making records steadily the better part of two decades, including this year’s Looking Glass, produced by Tucker Martine. Chief among the web of Diane’s influences appears to be the legendary folk-rock troupe Fairport Convention and, more specifically, Sandy Denny, that group’s magnetic lead vocalist and figurehead. In support of Looking Glass‘s recent, Diane has shared a new cover of Sandy Denny’s best-known solo number, “Who Knows Where the Time Goes?,” performed in a live session for The Line of Best Fit. The video capture and Diane’s performance are both mesmerizing, spooling out in long, slow lines. Diane is practically a dead ringer for Denny here too — standing alone with the song’s singularly haunting spirit, illuminated with just the right amount of echo and bravado. Continue reading »

Nov 292022
 
chiptune pokemon

Step aka Step On Newgrounds is a YouTuber and musician who is also an aspiring game developer. He goes by Stephan Wells IRL, and his talent as both a musician and arranger is undeniable in this 8-bit cover of Ed Sheeran “Celestial.” 

The original “Celestial” was featured on the credits of the game Pokemon and Scarlet Violet. While Sheeran’s version of the tune feels more like something you might hear in the club, Step’s genre-blends chiptune with ’80s vibes, leading to an oddly satisfying sonic experience. 

Step shows off his skills as an arranger in this iteration of “Celestial.” It starts out with 80s-feeling vocals, jagged held synth chords, multiple moving lines, and cheerful bleep-bloops. The underlying vocal harmonies, as well as Step’s diction, are absolutely impeccable. About halfway through, we get more of a dancey break before the B-section comes. The way that Step layers the two themes as we crescendo to the final choruses is chill-worthy. Not to mention, the accompanying video for his cover of “Celestial” is extremely cute and artistic, featuring watercolor-style depictions of Game Boys and Pokemon characters. 

Head here for more interesting Ed Sheeran covers.

Nov 292022
 
Hurray for the Riff Raff

We’ve featured Hurray for the Riff Raff a few times at Cover Me since they first started recording in the aughts. A vehicle for singer-songwriter Alynda Segarra, the band’s line-up has changed over the years as has their sound. But they aren’t the first group you think of when you think ’80s covers. Continue reading »