The Flowers of Hell – Atmosphere (Joy Division cover)
Toronto-London ensemble The Flowers of Hell first released this cover on their 2012 orchestral-pop covers album Odes, but, in honor of its first vinyl release on Record Store Day, it got a new music video. If you missed this wonderful Joy Division cover the first time around, it’s a perfect time to catch up. There’s a new “Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft” video too.
Ghost – Jesus He Knows Me (Genesis cover)
On May 18, the pop-metal band Ghost will released their latest collection of covers, PHANTOMIME. Longtime readers will recall that a song from an earlier collection topped our year-end list back in 2013, so we’re pretty excited about it. On this, the band tackles Television, The Stranglers, Iron Maiden, Tina Turner, and, in the first single, Genesis. The video stars Christian Rodrigo as a hard-partying priest who does drugs and visits an S&M dungeon. It was released, naturally, on Easter.
John Oates – What A Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong cover)
John Oates (of Hall &… fame) sings the Louis Armstrong classic on his new single. He ratchets up the tempo and adds a funky flair. In a statement he said, “What an honor for me to be able to cover one of Americas’ greatest popular songs. A true classic and a song that just makes everyone feel good. I hope you dig the 70s R&B style approach to the arrangement. I wanted it to be more upbeat and tried to make it my own.”
Luke Combs – Fast Car (Tracy Chapman cover)
As a recent headline put it, “Luke Combs’ ‘Fast Car’ Cover Is A Streaming Giant.” After only a few weeks, the country superstar’s Tracy Chapman cover racked up 46 million global streams. It’s not that different than the original, but if it’s introducing a younger audience to this Chapman classic, we’re all for it.
Meg Mac – No Time to Die (Billie Eilish cover)
A beautiful bass riff leads in to Meg Mac’s cover of the latest James Bond theme. She’s got the pipes to deliver it — always a prerequisite for a Bond tune. She should tackle a Shirley Bassey number next.
MUNA – My Heart Will Go On (Celine Dion cover)
MUNA had a big month. At Coachella, they were joined onstage by all three members of boygenius — Julien Baker, Lucy Dacus, and Phoebe Bridgers, who’s signed them to her label. At the time they were just off an Australian tour, where they swung by Triple J radio to perform an unexpectedly earnest Celine Dion cover for “Like a Version.”
The Regrettes – Dancing on My Own (Robyn cover)
We give this cover an A. We give the dancing Gumby in the music video an A++.
Silent Skies – Numb (Linkin Park cover)
This operatic “Numb” cover actually comes from a duo on a metal label. Singer Tom Englund teamed up with piano virtuoso Vikram Shanka for the new album Nectar. The pair write, “In a world that often seems to delight in tearing us down, this song is a beacon of hope, a reminder that we are stronger than we think. Our arrangement seeks to amplify this message, to imbue it with the full force of emotion and meaning that it deserves.”
The Best of the Rest
Crooks & Nannies – Islands in the Stream (Dolly Parton / Kenny Rogers cover)
The Dead Krazukies – Maniac (Michael Sembello cover)
Eva Under Fire – War Pigs (Black Sabbath cover)
Hazel English – Slide (Goo Goo Dolls cover)
Iggy Pop & The Losers – Walk On The Wild Side (Lou Reed cover)
L.A. Exes – Call Your Girlfriend (Robyn cover)
Let’s Eat Grandma – From The Morning (Nick Drake cover)
The Reds, Pinks and Purples – Ghosts Again (Depeche Mode cover)
Suicide – Born in the U.S.A. (Bruce Springsteen cover)
Check out previous months’ best covers lists.
This is the BEST of the month??? Ouch, what an awful month then. . .
Thanks, as always. I always look forward to the beginning of every month (not just because of you, but you help!). I’m guessing the only reason “Don’t Dream It’s Over” by Larkin Poe didn’t make the list was because it was released so close to the end of the month. But it is sublime. Thanks again.
Ha yes you’ve figured out the secret. Because of the time it takes to put these together, these lists are REALLY more like “The best of the first three weeks of this month and the final week of the previous month.” But that doesn’t make a very good headline!