Brandi Carlile – We Belong (Pat Benatar cover)
Cheating a little as we missed this one in July, but if you too haven’t heard the acoustic “We Belong” Brandi’s been playing on tour with The Twins, it will be worth the wait. “We belong together” takes on a whole new meaning as we (try to) come out of quarantine.
Chris Stapleton – Nothing Else Matters (Metallica covers)
We already shared Phoebe Bridgers’ new cover of “Nothing Else Matters,” but the upcoming Metallica tribute album The Blacklist features like 10 artists covering every song. Literally 12 in the case of “Nothing Else Matters,” so here’s another take, from the great Chris Stapleton. He’s not even the only country star covering “Nothing Else Matters” on this behemoth; Darius Rucker and Mickey Guyton have versions on the album too.
Cry Club – Good 4 U (Olivia Rodrigo cover)
Despite her Disney Channel pedigree, Olivia Rodrigo’s recent chart-topper “Good 4 U” is a straight-up pop-punk song (so much so she recently added Paramore as co-writers due to its similarities to one of their songs). So it’s a perfect for an actual pop-punk rock band to cover.
Jason Isbell – Moonlight Mile / Can’t You Hear Me Knockin’ (Rolling Stones covers)
One side benefit of the return to live music is that, when great artists pass, the concert tributes can pour in like they used to. Isbell alone covered three Stones tunes after Charlie Watts’ death. “Gimme Shelter” with Brittney Spencer got the most attention, but check out the deeper cuts he knocked out the night before.
Melodicka Bros ft. Violet Orlandi – Somebody That I Used To Know (Gotye cover)
Gotye’s big hit just turned 10 this summer and, as a result, has seen a small covers revival. We shared Benee’s killer version a few weeks back, and here’s another inventive take. YouTubers Melodicka Bros do a lot of semi-novelty covers with titles like “Spice Girls – WANNABE (Sad Cowboy Cover)” and “NIRVANA – Lithium (WAY TOO HAPPY SKA-PUNK COVER!!!!!!)”. But, gimmicks aside, they’re good at what they do, as seen on their extremely catchy “GOTHIC METAL” version of “Somebody That I Used To Know.”
Miku Daza – Pump It Up (Elvis Costello cover)
Musically, Miku Daza’s “Pump It Up” takes it cues pretty closely from Costello’s This Year’s Model original. Visually though, the cover is bonkers. The band plays a menagerie of the neon-clad elderly dancing, rocking, and, sure enough, pumping it up.
Rivers Cuomo – Sugar We’re Going Down (Fall Out Boy cover)
In what has become a trend in live music’s shaky return, Fall Out Boy had to duck out of their tour with Green Day and Weezer for a bit due to a Covid outbreak in their camp. So, for the New York show, Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo gave a nod to their absent comrades with a solo cover of “Sugar We’re Going Down.” Judging by how enthusiastically the crowd hollers every word, Fall Out Boy had a lot of fans in that audience. Hopefully this provided some consolation.
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss – Can’t Let Go (Lucinda Williams cover)
It took them 14 years from their Grammy-winning album Raising Sand, but Robert Plant and Alison Krauss have finally reunited for a follow-up, Raise the Roof. The first single tackles the classic Lucinda Williams track penned by Randy Weeks. “We wanted it to move,” Krauss said of the new music in a press release. “We brought other people in, other personalities within the band, and coming back together again in the studio brought a new intimacy to the harmonies.” Plant said, “You hear something and you go ‘Man, listen to that song, we got to sing that song!’ It’s a vacation, really — the perfect place to go that you least expected to find.”
Rosé – Read My Mind (The Killers cover)
Rosé of the group BLACKPINK is quickly become the breakout cover star of the K-Pop world. We recently saw her knock a Paramore cover out of the park, and now she takes on The Killers. And not something obvious like “Mr. Brightside” either; she digs deep to unearth the Sam’s Town gem “Read My Mind.” It apparently comes as part of the Korean reality show Sea of Hope, which features a ton of cover song performances.
Steve Gunn & William Tyler – All Tomorrow’s Parties (The Velvet Underground cover)
William Tyler’s tour with Steve Gunn only lasted one night before Tyler tested positive for Covid and had to quarantine (see what I meant about this becoming a trend?). But, from the looks of it, it was a hell of a night.
Tom Morello ft. Bruce Springsteen & Eddie Vedder – Highway to Hell (AC/DC cover)
On tour in Australia in 2014, Bruce Springsteen did a variety of surprising covers, from Lorde’s “Royals” to the Bee Gees’ “Staying Alive” – that one landed on our Best Bee Gees Covers Ever list. One was “Highway to Hell,” with special guest Eddie Vedder and less-special guest Tom Morello (only “less-special” because Morello was serving as a temporary E Street Band member on that tour). Now, they’ve recorded a Morello-led studio version.
The Best of the Rest
Alex, Fair Warning – The Big Sky (Kate Bush cover)
Aly & AJ – I Need My Girl (The National cover)
Angel Olsen – The Safety Dance (Men Without Hats cover)
Bathe Alone – Take a Bow (Madonna cover)
Blind Boys of Alabama ft. Bela Fleck – I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free (Billy Taylor/Nina Simone cover)
The Blow – I’m Not in Love (10cc cover)
Brigid Mae Power – Didn’t It Rain (Songs: Ohia cover)
Cannons – Dancing in the Dark (Bruce Springsteen cover)
Childish Gambino – Stay High (Brittany Howard cover)
Eddie Vedder – Drive (R.E.M. cover)
Gretta Ray – The Deepest Sighs, the Frankest Shadows (Gang of Youths cover)
J Balvin – Wherever I May Roam (Metallica cover)
Jamila Woods – Fast Car (Tracy Chapman cover)
Jonathan Davis (Korn) – It’s a Sin (Pet Shop Boys cover)
Omar Apollo – California Dreamin’ (The Mamas and the Papas cover)
Owen – Me (The 1975 cover)
Porridge Radio – You Are a Runner and I Am My Father’s Son (Wolf Parade cover)
Red Spot Rhythm Section – You Got Lucky (Tom Petty cover)
Sasami – Sorry Entertainer (Daniel Johnston cover)
Shamir – Where Gravity Is Dead (Laura Veirs cover)
Smith, Lyle & Moore – Born to Be Wild (Steppenwolf cover)
Touche Amore – Hard to Explain (The Strokes cover)
Wax on Water – For The Love of Money (The O’Jays cover)
Check out previous months’ best covers lists.