Brett Eldredge – Cold Heart (Elton John, Dua Lipa cover)
Against all odds for a rocker of his generation, Elton John had a genuine hit with a single he released just last year, at age 74: “Cold Heart.” It topped the chart in the UK – his first song to do so in 16 years. It did nearly as well in the States, reaching number 7 and topping a number of secondary charts. Having current pop hitmaker Dua Lipa on board no doubt helped, as did releasing it as a remix by Pnau (“Hot Dance/Electronic Songs” was one of those secondary U.S. charts). It also fairly shameless incorporates bits of earlier hit singles “Rocket Man” and “Sacrifice” as well as deeper Elton cuts “Kiss the Bride” and “Where’s the Shoorah?” In country star Brett Eldridge’s live cover, though, it all blends together seamlessly.
G Flip – Kiwi (Harry Styles cover)
The first of two people named “G” this week. Australian rock singer G Flip first hit our radar with a version of “Lady Marmalade” in 2020, and now she’s back tackling Harry Styles. Don’t think from her choice of song that she’s a light Top-40 singer though. Like a pop-punk Levon Helm, she sings from behind the drum kit, bashing away while hollering even louder.
G Dragon – Can’t Help Falling in Love (Elvis Presley cover)
Though G Dragon’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love” wasn’t on the official Elvis soundtrack, it does come connected the movie. The music video was directed by the film’s director Baz Luhrmann, who reached out to a number of artists to commission new Elvis covers. This one from the K-Pop giant from Big Bang starts sounding like a fairly straightforward piano ballad. It doesn’t stay that way for long, bringing in nu-metal riffage and electronica BPMs.
Gloria de Oliveira & Dean Hurley – All Flowers in Time (Jeff Buckley/Elizabeth Fraser cover)
If this song sounds Twin Peaks-y, that’s no coincidence. Dean Hurley is a frequent David Lynch collaborator, including on the soundtrack to the comeback season. And Elizabeth Fraser, who duets with Jeff Buckley on the original version of this song (a demo never officially released) also sang This Mortal Coil’s “Song to the Siren,” a Lynch favorite.
Loveless – Running Up That Hill (Kate Bush cover)
Many, many, many new covers of this song have arrived since its Stranger Things resurgence. This is one of our favorites, a semi-heavy metal take that positively sprints up that hill with pounding drums, a wall of guitars, and soaring vocals by Julian Comeau.
Lucy Dacus – Believe (Cher cover)
Lucy Dacus says of her new “Believe” cover: “I love Cher’s voice and how low it gets. The timbre of her voice is so unique, you can recognize it anywhere. Even with the autotune, you can tell that it’s Cher and nobody else. But, on our cover, taking away the autotune, I feel like you can tell that the structure of the song is very special and I did feel myself accidentally wanting to become Cher when I was doing vocal takes. It could never happen, but I love a low-voiced pop legend.”
Pearl Jam ft. Johnny Marr – Throw Your Hatred Down (Neil Young cover)
Does this really count as a cover? After all, Pearl Jam backed Neil on the original version from their collaborative 1990s album Mirror Ball. Its cover status is borderline at best. But this video of them doing it in London, sans Neil and plus Johnny Marr of The Smiths, is so fun that we’ll allow it.
Rachel Chinouriri – Thank You (Dido)
Wow, a folky cover of Eminem’s “Stan”! I kid. This is, of course, the original Dido song that Mr. Mathers prominently sampled. British singer-songwriter Rachel Chinouriri said in the album’s announcement, “I love this song so much. There were so many I could’ve picked but it’s one which lyrically resonated with me. Dido’s ability to tell the story and make it feel like it’s you is incredible.” [Heads up: We posted more about this Deezer-exclusive album on indie ‘90s covers (and, psst, a download) over on our Patreon]
Steely Dan – Carey (Joni Mitchell cover)
Steely Dan recorded this tune for the 2007 tribute album to Joni Mitchell titled, lazily, A Tribute to Joni Mitchell. They’d actually recorded it several years earlier, back when the album was supposed to come out in 2001 and be called A Case of Joni (better title). For reasons unclear, it was left off that album, only surfacing this month via a radio DJ who played it on air. They took six days to record it – which as the YouTube description humorously notes is “an astonishingly short time for Steely Dan.”
Watkins Family Hour – (Remember Me) I’m the One Who Loves You (Johnny Cash cover)
Fiona Apple and Benmont Tench appeared on the first Watkins Family Hour album, and they’re back for the second. Like the debut, Watkins Family Hour. Vol. II is all covers. Led by Sara and Sean Watkins, both of Nickel Creek, it features additional guest appearances from Jackson Browne, Jon Brion, Madison Cunningham, Willie Watson, and more. They already shared a cover of Tune-Yards’ “Hypnotized.” Now here’s another, featuring Apple and Tench.