Sep 202022
Millworker Becky Buller

James Taylor’s “Millworker,” written and released in the late ‘70s, has had an enduring and surprisingly varied track record. Zoomed in, the song is a first-person account of a modern industrial worker’s daily routine in western Massachusetts. Zoom out though, and “Millworker” is a far more profound kind of anthem, with some big ideas about modern labor on the whole — its adverse effects on the mind, the body, the soul, the grind: “It’s me and my machine for the rest of the morning/for the rest of the afternoon/and the rest of my life… Continue reading »

Sep 202022
j hacha de zola harry styles

Jersey City musical madman J Hacha De Zola has a knack for covering pop tunes. In the past few years, we’ve heard him cover Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, and Milli Vanilli. Only one thing unites those covers: They sound nothing like the original artists. No matter his source material, he’s more likely to invoke garage rock or Tom Waits than he is the Top 40 charts. And that holds on his latest, a wild reimagining of Harry Styles’ monster hit “As It Was” complete with pounding percussion, spooky vocals, and a big flamenco-horn finish. Continue reading »

Sep 152022
ibibio sound machine heroes cover

We last encountered UK Afrobeat band Ibibio Sound Machine as part of the podcast I Only Listen to The Mountain Goats, which featured their cover of “Color in Your Cheeks.” Their new cover of “Heroes,” one of David Bowie’s most covered songs, goes in a very different direction than most of the many, many preceding versions. Continue reading »

Sep 132022
dnce hilary duff

A Hilary Duff single is not one that is regularly given (or ever, I would think) the cover treatment, but dance-rock band DNCE have done just that.

Released as a 50 second clip on Tiktok, Joe Jonas’s current band show that the very 2000s-sounding original may actually have been a sleeping banger after all. Stripped back to just a vocal, simple drums (the man is hitting an empty tissue box) and an acoustic guitar, the track sounds like it could slot into any upbeat cafe or bar playlist.

Check out the cover below:

@dnce LET THE RAIN FALL DOWN 🌧 WE’RE COMING CLEAN @hilaryduff ♬ original sound – DNCE

Sep 132022
palaye royale eleanor rigby

For their new Amazon single, Palaye Royale, a Las Vegas trio signed by Sumerian Records, took The Beatles’ oft-covered “Eleanor Rigby” and ran with it, creating a version that features thick-stacked vocals and impressively expansive instrumentation. The introduction alone is nothing less than apocalyptic. Continue reading »

Sep 122022
brutal youth dare to be stupid

When “Weird Al” Yankovic released his third album, Dare to Be Stupid, in the summer of 1985, few could have guessed he’d become an elder statesmen of music comedy musical comedy. The album’s title track is, like most of his original songs, not very well known. (Though it’s among the most well known of his originals, as it was featured in a movie soundtrack.) It’s a style parody of Devo, which the video makes extremely clear if you don’t get it from the music. Continue reading »