Neil Young‘s ambivalent love song “I Believe in You” from After the Goldrush was a popular song to cover after he first released it, with high profile versions from the likes of Linda Ronstadt and Rita Coolidge. The song’s chorus is one of Young’s most overtly romantic but the verses reveal all sorts of doubt about the relationship, that are often lost in cover versions.
Taking Heads’ “This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)” is so subtitled because it was drastically simpler than the music they had been making for the past few years. For “This Must Be the Place,” the band simplified things considerably, in part because of a gimmick: a few of the members alternated instruments, forcing them to play simpler music. The result is one of the most direct Talking Heads songs of the era.
Still Woozy’s new take on MGMT’s “Electric Feel” may not shock you like an electric eel, but it will beckon you with its funky melody and warm embrace. Rather than sliding in on an explosive opening note, the familiar tune arrives subtly on the strings of an acoustic guitar. Harmony is added through a delicate piano adding mostly to the ambiance and feel of the song. The bassline and drums cannonball into the tune filling out the instrumental set. “Electric Feel” pulses forward infectiously, and Still Woozy smooths out some of the jauntiness of the song and tightens some of the pauses in vocals.
U2’s songs, especially in the ’80s, are distinguished by their wall of sound, with numerous Edge guitars creating an unmistakable signature. For 1987’s acclaimed The Joshua Tree, they added the sounds of American roots music to this stew. “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” captures this fusion about as well as any song they did around this time – with The Edge’s trademark ringing guitar plus Bono’s gospel-inspired vocals and the backing vocals mimicking a church choir. Some slide guitar at the end adds an unmistakably American sound to the Irish band.
Matt and Kim didn’t plan on covering I Monster’s “The Blue Wrath.” So why did they? To fix an Instagram video they had posted with the original version of the song. That first video was removed, after getting caught up in the social media copyright monitoring systems. So Matt and Kim created a cover to use when they reposted the video. In the post, they say, “Insta took this video down before because of a copyright claim on the song, so I figured ima ‘musician…’ I’m stuck at home… I’ll make a cover of it and put it back up! Don’t try me!”
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.