Jan 272021
Alien Tango Getting Better

Every so often, a cover manages to simultaneously be so delightfully weird and so faithful to the original that one can’t help but receive it as an instant classic. Alien Tango‘s take on The Beatles‘ “Getting Better” is such a track.

Alien Tango — aka Alberto García — wades into the song with a vibey electronic ambience and drum kit before diving into vocals that feel like an operatic stoner-Dracula for the metamodern millennial age. You can really feel the lyrics in the performance, both in the mixed-bag hopefulness of the chorus and the contrasting lamentations of the past. Rather than feeling gimmicky or discordant, there’s a kind of transcendence to the way all the elements come together. The music video only heightens this, a glam dance performance in dressed-down Sgt. Pepper regalia shot on 16mm film over the Thames at sunrise. The lyrics of the third verse are replaced with horns and whistling, and the substitution only serves to further the cover’s message.

Alien Tango purports to be transmitting classics from a parallel timeline, and this song certainly validates that claim—we hope more covers (or, covers recognizable as such in this timeline) are yet to come.

Check out many more Beatles covers here!

Jan 272021
years years it's a sin

Years & Years, with their pop-synth 80s-inspired tunes and Olly Alexander’s melismatic vocals, seem to be the perfect candidate to cover the lush synth rhythms of the Pet Shop Boys. But Years & Years recent cover of “It’s a Sin,” rather than mirroring the Pet Shop sound, offers a minimalist rendition. The song feels right at home in a solo piano cover, adding to the slight desperation and mournfulness embedded in the song. Continue reading »

Jan 272021
tom jones todd snider

Tom Jones has covered some unexpected artists in his day. AC/DC. Arctic Monkeys. The Milk Carton Kids. And the latest in that lineage: supremely chill hippie songwriter Todd Snider. Previewing his upcoming covers album Surrounded by Time, Jones released his take on Todd Snider’s “Talking Reality Television Blues,” a song originally on Todd’s 2019 album Cash Cabin Sessions, Vol. 3 (the fact that there never was a Vol. 1 or 2 tells you a lot about Todd Snider). Continue reading »

Jan 262021

Pete YornPete Yorn is one of those names you know, if not always realizing or recognizing why. His debut album made him a Rolling Stone One To Watch for 2001, going gold to boot, thanks partly to the single “Life On A Chain.” (Aah, that Pete Yorn!) A further six albums have followed, as well as various other live albums and collaborations. He’s been the musical muscle behind some of Scarlett Johansson’s excursions into music, they making one LP and an EP together, another possibly on the way. He is also a regular on soundtracks and tributes, performing the songs of others as varied as The Ramones, Bruce Springsteen and New Order. We have featured him often.

Now comes album number seven, Pete Yorn Sings the Classics. Quite where the parallel galaxy is that considers this quirky set of songs classics, I don’t know, but it’s somewhere I could happily live. OK, many you will know, and some are fitting of that title, with others maybe vaguer memories, perhaps from childhood. But don’t dismiss this, the love here seeps thickly through the grooves and makes this just one great big grin of a project.
Continue reading »

Jan 252021
built to spill ashes

Indie rock legends Built to Spill are not the first band that come to mind when you think of the very distinctive sound of David Bowie’s “Ashes to Ashes.” Known for Doug Martsch’s distinct high-pitched voice and his winding guitar solos, they’re not a band usually associated with songs that made the dance charts. But Martsch has covered the song with his side project Boise Cover Band. The song was recorded back in 2003, but just being released now. Continue reading »

Jan 212021
voyager cover the presets

To be honest, I’ve got no strong feelings about The Presets’ “This Boy’s In Love.” The hook is great sure, but for me (as one of Cover Me’s Australian contributors) it was way overplayed in the clubs and on the radio when it came out and since. The result is the fact that I don’t even register this song any more; it just comes on and then goes away when finished. But West Australian prog-rockers Voyager have changed that. Continue reading »