Mar 012024
best cover songs february 2024
Annie Lennox — Nothing Compares 2 U (Prince/Sinéad O’Connor cover)

The emotional highpoint of the Grammys—well, other than Tracy Chapman’s return (covers-adjacent!)–was Annie Lennox’s tribute to Sinéad O’Connor during the In Memoriam. Bonus points because she was backed by two longtime bandmembers of Prince (who, of course, wrote the song), Wendy and Lisa. The teardrop on Lennox’s eye was very Prince, and the political statement at the end was very Sinéad.

The Black Keys – I Forgot To Be Your Lover (William Bell cover)

The Black Keys upcoming 12th album Ohio Players features a soul cover—but not of the titular Ohio Players. Instead, they cover William Bell’s 1968 single “I Forgot to Be Your Lover.” Billy Idol recorded a hit cover of the song in the ‘80s, but the Keys’ version is faithful to the original. Which means it doesn’t sound much like the garage-rock the band became famous for, substituting swooping strings and big vocals.

Dierks Bentley – American Girl (Tom Petty cover)

The tribute album Petty Country: A Country Music Celebration of Tom Petty is set to drop May 31. It features everyone from Dolly Parton to Luke Combs covering Petty songs. Admittedly, the recent Rolling Stones tribute album Stoned Cold Country featured similarly big names and wasn’t very good, but here’s hoping. Dierks Bentley said of his contribution, “Petty’s southern roots shined through across his songwriting and storytelling. He might not have ever been considered as Country but you can’t go into a bar in Nashville without hearing this song. It is one of the greatest songs in a life’s work of great American songs.”

Dominum — Rock You Like a Hurricane (Scorpions cover)

Dominum are a “zombie metal band” — who knew that was a thing? I guess if GWAR can succeed, why not zombies? This “Rock You Like a Hurricane” celebrates the song’s 40th birthday.

Fantasia — Proud Mary (CCR/Tina Turner cover)

A second Grammys tribute by way of a cover-of-a-cover, third-season American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino went full Tina Turner on “Proud Mary.” Beyoncé hiding her head when Fantasia went looking in the audience for someone to dance with even became a meme.

Lana Del Rey — Blue Skies (Irving Berlin cover)

The soundtrack to fashion TV series New Look features a number of era-appropriate covers. This sort of thing has been done before (see the short-lived TV series Vinyl), and the downside is that the arrangements tend to stay pretty faithful to the originals. If the show is supposed to take place during World War II (New Look) or the 1970s (Vinyl), the sonic introduction of, say, EDM or hip-hop would be jarring. Nevertheless, Lana Del Rey’s voice is right for this show’s 1940s era, and she does a beautiful job with “Blue Skies.”

Maren Morris — Dancing with Myself (Billy Idol cover)

Maren Morris’s “Dancing with Myself” is apparently connected with some sort of Verizon ad campaign, and those tie-ins rarely bode well, but this cover stands alone. A shimmery synth-folk ballad (with handclaps), its features a video filmed at beloved Nashville record store Grimey’s. Last year, Morris announced she was moving on from country music, and sure enough there’s nothing country about this cover.

Mark Mulcahy — My Love Mine All Mine (Mitski civer)

On a new covers EP The Tinsler, Miracle Legion’s Mark Mulcahy covers young female songwriters included Mitski, Faye Webster, boygenius, and Adrienne Linker. “My Love Mine All Mine” is the kickoff trick, beautifully lo-fi and distorted with his soaring vocals. And, when you’re done with this, go check out the excellent tribute album to Mulcahy himself (one of the best tribute albums ever, sez us).

Norah Jones ft. Remi Wolf — Change (Big Thief cover)

For a new Spotify Single, Norah Jones teamed up with pop-soul artist Remi Wolf to cover one of the many great songs off Big Thief’s cumbersomely-titled 2022 album Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You. Jones, who has long clearly had an indie-rock heart underneath the Lite-FM presentation, should do a whole album of Big Thief covers.

The Screaming Jets — We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together (Taylor Swift cover)

Ahead of Taylor Swift’s Eras tour coming down under, Australian rock station Triple M commissioned a number of Swift covers by rock-leaning artists. I’ve thrown a few more in the bonus tracks section below, but my favorite of the bunch comes from veteran hard-rock heroes The Screaming Jets. Frontman Dave Gleeson told Radio Today, “I’m not a closeted Taylor Swift fan, I just love her.” [Update: For whatever reason the YouTube video has now been set to private, but you can see some on Instagram]

The Best of the Rest

Author & Punisher — Motomami (Rosalia cover)

Birds of Tokyo — Blank Space (Taylor Swift cover)

[Update: The radio station seems to have since set this one private too. Come on guys!]

British India — You’re on Your Own Kid (Taylor Swift cover)

Dan Mangan – Sleep On The Floor (The Lumineers cover)

The Dismemberment Plan – Unrequited (Circus Lupus cover)

Jeremiah Fraites, Gregory Alan Isakov – No Surprises (Radiohead cover)

Jerry David DeCicca ft. Bill Callahan – Forty Years In The Wilderness (Bruce Cockburn cover)

Jessie Reyez — Is This Love (Bob Marley cover)

The Last Dinner Party – One Of Your Girls (Troye Sivan cover)

The Libertines – That’ll Be The Day (Buddy Holly cover)

Mirah — I’m Not Down (The Clash cover)

Monica Martin — Green Gloves (The National cover)

Paramore – Burning Down the House (Talking Heads cover)

Paul Kelly — Anti-Hero (Taylor Swift cover)

Pet Shop Boys — All the Young Dudes (Mott the Hoople cover)

Rhiannon Giddens — The Ballad of Sally Anne (Alice Randall cover)

Sarah McLeod — Wildest Dreams (Taylor Swift cover)

[Update: Yep, this one too]

The Scratch – Sally MacLennane (Pogues cover)

Suzie True — Angel Baby (Rosie and The Originals cover)

Talia Keys — Sweet Dreams (Eurythmics cover)

Tyler Childers — Yes I Guess They Oughta Name a Drink After You (John Prine cover)

Yo La Tengo and the Sun Ra Arkestra – New Speedway Boogie (Grateful Dead cover)

Check out previous months’ best covers lists.

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