Funk/fusion trio Dirty Loops and guitarist Cory Wong have teamed up for an epic rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” The collaboration amounts to something of an international summit for these two titans of funk. Dirty Loops, based in Stockholm, share their technical wizardry and pleasure-principle sensibilities with a line of Swedish producer forebears. Wong, long based in the Twin Cities, comes from quite a musical lineage himself: He gained his funk chops performing in clubs with Michael Bland and Sonny T, members of Prince’s band. (Beyond his solo career, Wong is also known as a featured player in Vulfpeck.)
Jarvis Cocker and Wes Anderson have shared a bit of a creative pas de deux through the last decade. The former Pulp frontman, and current bandleader of the eponymous group Jarv Is…, appeared initially in Anderson’s 2009 Fantastic Mr. Fox, playing a claymation town crier. (Given the fox connection, it’s not surprising to hear Cocker’s song in that film lovingly cop from Roger Miller’s jangly tunes and ramblin’ bird-bard role in Disney’s Robin Hood.) Anderson’s remaining 2010s films took him to farther corners of the globe, sonically speaking; the Isle of Dogs soundtrack, for example, almost exclusively features taiko drumming from Kaoru Watanabe and songs from classic Japanese cinema. But Cocker and Anderson have seemingly continued to vibe with each others’ work from afar.
For fans of synthy big-voices indiepop ala Florence and the Machine, Kyla La Grange’s 2011 album Ashes was a stealth classic (check out “Walk Through Walls” if you don’t believe me). The British singer-songwriter released one more album, Cut Your Teeth in 2014, but soon slipped away from the music world. But now she’s released her first song in four years, and it’s a cover of N-Trance’s dance classic “Set You Free.”
Sharon Van Etten has released a cover on The Velvet Underground & Nico’s “Femme Fatale.” The cover comes from the forthcoming tribute record, I’ll Be Your Mirror: A Tribute to the Velvet Underground & Nico, produced by Hal Willner and, after an impressively long rollout, due for release this Friday.
Imagine Dragons’ recent single “Follow You” sounds like, well, an Imagine Dragons song (though the music video is worth a watch for Always Sunny fans). But Marshall Islands-born singer JK Snow, now living in Mexico, heard something beneath the gleaming pop-rock production. In a gorgeous new cover – her debut single, no less – she turns the song into a torch ballad. Her layered vocals and synth lines will captivate even Imagine Dragons detractors.
“I really connected with the lyrics of Follow You and I felt emotional about them, loving someone so much that you are willing to follow them to their deepest lows and wanting to put them in the sunlight,” Snow said, “But I heard the song differently in my head and wanted to express the moody, heart-wrenching love song I heard underneath the big pop production.
Check out Snow’s “Follow You” below.
Perpetual Groove are a jam band that was originally active from about 1997 to 2013 during which they put out five albums of southern-tinged, jammy rock, with hints of indie rock mixed in. They reunited in 2015, mostly touring and putting out live albums, with one more full length release of original material in 2019. This month they’ve released their first all covers EP C’mon. Covers? with songs from Peter Gabriel, The Cars, The Go-Go’s, and Johnny Cash. The two best tracks are the Cars and Go-Go’s covers.