Mar 262024
july talk hand in my pocket cover

“Hand in My Pocket” is the second single from Alanis Morissette‘s breakout album, Jagged Little Pill, as well as her first ever Canadian #1 song. As much as this album was big in the US, it was even bigger in her native Canada where it went double Diamond and produced four #1 songs as well as a #2. For some reason “Hand in My Pocket” wasn’t released as a single in the US so it had less of an impact, though it still received enough airplay to chart well.

Still, it makes sense that it would be a little less popular of a cover than the biggest songs in the US from Jagged Little Pill and that a Canadian band like July Talk would be a little more likely to perform it. July Talk have been around for a little over a decade with a fair amount of success, due to their famous live performances.They were invited by CBC to cover the song in honour (with a u) of the upcoming Juno Awards (Canada’s Grammys.) They were a little nervous of doing it because of how big Alanis and this album were in Canada at the time. Continue reading »

Aug 312023
Amanda Palmer and The Righteous Babes — The Last Day of our Acquaintance (Sinéad O’Connor cover)

You’re going to notice a theme here. We have the usual grab-bag included below (see “Best of the Rest”), but, for our featured covers up top, it’s all Sinéad. There were so many wonderful tributes performed, often in concert and always powerful and moving. Many did “Nothing Compares 2 U,” technically a Prince cover but really a Sinéad song now and forever, but others selected from elsewhere in her catalog. Of this one, which just came out Tuesday, Amanda Palmer wrote, “This song means a great deal to me, as does the artist who penned it, along with everything she still stands for.” A portion of the money from sales will be donated to The Irish Women’s Survivor Support Network. Continue reading »

Jul 312023
best cover songs
Bob Dylan — Bad Actor (Merle Haggard cover)

Bob Dylan has been on a covers roll this year. On tour, he has primarily covered a number of Dead (“Truckin’,” “Stella Blue,” “Brokedown Palace”) or Dead-associated (“Not Fade Away,” “Only a River”) songs. But he’s dipped into other classic catalogs occasionally too. He did Van Morrison’s “Into the Mystic” for the first time and then, not long after, maybe the deepest cut yet: Merle Haggard’s 2016 track “Bad Actor.” The tape took a while to surface. It was worth the wait. Continue reading »

Apr 032023
best cover songs of march 2023
Bria – When You Know Why You’re Happy (Mary Margaret O’Hara’ cover)

Bria’s “Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?” made our list of the Best Covers of 2022. The track was a sneak peak at her covers EP Cuntry Covers Vol. 2, and the full thing dropped a few weeks ago. It includes a wonderful version of this much more obscure song. Bria explains: “Mary Margaret O’Hara is a creative force and one of my favorite Canadian artists. I have been a huge fan of hers for quite some time and really wanted to try my hand at one of her songs for Vol. 2. She is a real queen of vocal improvisation. It’s a trait of hers that I’ve always admired, so I really wanted to explore that when recording this cover. The video for this track is special to us, a sort of collage of memory; fragmented footage of summer taken over the last two years is dispersed throughout shots of a vast winter scene, filmed while we finished the record up North with our live band.” Continue reading »

Mar 012022
gayle you oughta know

Singer-songwriter GAYLE broke out this summer with the viral hit “abcdefu.” It shares some thematic similarity with Alanis Morissette’s classic “You Oughta Know,” and she made the connection clear on a new cover.

Unlike Alanis’ version, GAYLE’s cover is (sort of) a solo performance. The cover begins with a single chord and then GAYLE’s a capella delivery of the opening lyrics. As she forcefully belts out the lyrics, she is only accompanied by her sparse guitar playing. That is, until the second verse, when she is joined by her laptop. The laptop adds percussion and keyboard at first, but then the arrangement gets more sophisticated with additional guitar parts. Continue reading »

Feb 282022
best cover songs
Blacktop Mojo – My Girl (The Temptations cover)

You may listen to the gentle plucking when this begins and thing, boy that’s not what I expected from that band photo. Is this an acoustic flying V? Blacktop Mojo’s “My Girl” stays pretty and meditative for over half the run time, turning the oldies classic into a pretty folk-rock ballad. Eventually, though, true to that long-hair-and-leather image, the heads start banging and axes start shredding. Continue reading »