Jul 222022

Go back to the beginning

40. Arctic Monkeys – The Union Forever

Kudos to Arctic Monkeys for looking deeper than “Seven Nation Army” when they played the Stripes’ native Detroit. Much deeper, in fact; they’re the only band of note to ever cover this Citizen Kane-nodding White Blood Cells gem. They of course have more than two band members, so even though this has the same feel of the original, they add in atmospheric keyboards and (sacrilege!) bass. It’s a perfect pick for Alex Turner’s voice, as he lets loose some joyfully theatrical hollering and segues cleanly into that weird quasi-rap bridge. – Ray Padgett

39. The Tells [Strangefolk] – The Denial Twist

Filled with suitably twisty wordplay, “Denial Twist” seems to be about the end of a relationship, possibly Jack White and Renée Zellweger’s, where the physical attraction can’t overcome other issues. From 2005’s Get Behind Me Satan, the music bashes along, with White’s vocals sounding a bit anguished. Strangefolk, a group that emerged from the University of Vermont, started performing all-cover sets at music festivals, billing themselves as The Tells. In 2008, they did a late-night mini-set of Jack White related covers at Camp Kee Wa Nee, in Greenfield, Massachusetts, which included this quite good, faithful cover of the song. – Jordan Becker

38. Midnite String Quartet – We’re Going to Be Friends

The Midnite String Quartet is an easy-listening chamber group from Southern California. The ensemble really does this one justice by capturing that cuteness in the intro, which starts off with one solo violin while the rest of the strings play quaint pizzicato. Gradually, the texture builds and changes. The countermelody they chose for the second verse is unexpected and absolutely beautiful. – Aleah Fitzwater

37. Mack & Jeg – Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground

We’re going to the rock-inspired neighborhood of funky town with this cover. Monotone vocals are accompanied by electric guitar (naturally) and an electro-thumping beat (not as Stripes-esque). Video game sound flourishes abound, and a voice changer joins the fray, searching for that “pretty voice,” yet the tone remains serious. – Sara Stoudt

36. Zella Day – Seven Nation Army

The first “Seven Nation Army” on our list, but far, far from the last. While “Seven Nation Army” is an anthemic middle finger that applies to a myriad of challenging life situations, for the past decade its primary purpose has been to jump-start “the team” (fill in sport of choice here). It’s not so much a song as it is a drunken mass meditation / mantra / manifesto for encouraging your beloved sporting franchise to make something happen and/or celebrate their infinite superiority (as well as yours for supporting them, of course). All this is what makes singer-songwriter and alt-popster Zella Day’s rustic 2012 cover so revelatory. Zella reminds us that “Seven Nation Army” is not just a monolithic guitar riff, but is in fact an actual living, breathing song with verses, and serves up an accomplished, welcomingly daydreamy take. This cover doesn’t give a rat’s ass about Roma, the New Jersey Devils, or the Los Angeles Dodgers. This cover is solely focused on inspiring a team of one: you. – Hope Silverman

35. The Golden Filter – The Hardest Button to Button

Synth-pop duo The Golden Filter were in the same scene as artists Empire of the Sun, Cut Copy, and Little Boots, though never achieved their level of indie fame. They released this thumping electronic “Hardest Button” cover on the b-side of a 7”. – Ray Padgett

34. Chris O. – Screwdriver

With the drums mixed way up high, rhythm guitars mixed low, and a ghostly synth hovering in the background, Chris O’s cover of this early Stripes tune is darker and grittier than the original. The electronic drums are even more rudimentary than the White Stripes version, but the kick drum is the heartbeat, driving the song forward. It’s not a full-on reimagining, but it’s different enough to stand on its own. – Mike Misch

33. Zoë Fromer – In the Cold Cold Night

Zoe Fromer is one to watch. “A delicate bubblegum sensibility that will leave you spellbound,” her webpage says, adding that her debut EP is due out this fall. She’s got a voice of honey and cream, satin and silk, and she wraps it around “In the Cold Cold Night” like the blanket the song has been looking for. Backed by a small jazz combo, Fromer imbues the song with all the heat it will ever need, and she does it with the touch of a cloud of clean gray smoke. – Patrick Robbins

32. Twinkle Twinkle Little Rock Star – Icky Thump

Twinkle Twinkle Little Rock Star is a group that creates relaxing covers for rock stars in the making, from Korn to The White Stripes to Green Day. I mean, who doesn’t want their favorite jam band jam turned into a lullaby so they can play it to their kid? While this style might not be everyone’s favorite, it can produce some interesting results. This sleepy and near-meditative cover of “Icky Thump” features a harp, chimes, and mellow synth pads. At this point, it’s nearly unrecognizable from the tune that talks of “Sitting drunk on a wagon to Mexico.” So, would you play this cover for your little one? – Aleah Fitzwater

31. Otu – Fell In Love With A Girl

Considering this is from an album called Fuzzy Tunes, the sound of these guitars should be no surprise. Otu captures a nice doom-metal/stoner rock sound with the guitars and pairs it with growling vocals. The fuzzed-out guitars are the focal point through the song and helped along with some clean solos. This is the perfect amount of heavy while still maintaining the feeling of the original version. – Mike Misch


Cover Me is now on Patreon! If you love cover songs, we hope you will consider supporting us there with a small monthly subscription. There are a bunch of exclusive perks only for patrons: playlists, newsletters, downloads, discussions, polls - hell, tell us what song you would like to hear covered and we will make it happen. Learn more at Patreon.

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>