Sep 302021
 
best cover songs of september
Beyoncé – Moon River (Mancini/Mercer cover

Any month with a new cover by Beyoncé is a big month. Admittedly, her piano-crooning “Moon River” like so many others have piano-crooned “Moon River” – and for a Tiffany’s ad no less – is slightly underwhelming. But we’ll take what we can get, and, even if the approach is hardly novel, Beyoncé’s got the pipes to deliver. Continue reading »

Aug 122021
 
Billie Eilish in the mood

Lady Gaga just announced another standards album with Tony Bennett. When their first album together came out in 2014, a lot of people were surprised at a pop star entering her “American songbook” era so early. Well, not to be outdone, Billie Eilish appears to be testing the standards waters before even turning 20. For her recent BBC Live Lounge appearance, a venue where artists usually cover contemporary hits, Eilish looked way back to the 1930s for a version of “I’m in the Mood for Love.” Continue reading »

Jul 302021
 
best cover songs july
Alex Cameron ft. Roan Yellowthorn – Islands in the Stream (Kenny Rogers / Dolly Parton cover)


For a new single, Australian singer Alex Cameron, who has worked with everyone from The Killers to Foxygen, decided to take on two Kenny Rogers tunes written by Barry Gibb. One, “Midsummer Nights,” is comparatively obscure. The other – the one above – is not. Playing the Dolly Parton role to Alex’s Kenny is Roan Yellowthorn aka Jackie McLean, daughter of “American Pie” singer Don McLean.

Annie – Just Like Honey (Jesus and Mary Chain cover)


Norwegian pop musician Annie doesn’t release much music – 2020 saw her first album in 11 years – but she’s got a new EP out in September, Neon Nights. It features some originals and covers. One is the Dirty Dancing song “She’s Like The Wind.” Another is this discofied, but still shoegazy in a more electronic way, take on the Jesus and Mary Chain’s most often-covered song. Continue reading »

May 212021
 
Tim Minchin bad guy

Billie Eilish’s “bad guy” has been covered thousands of times, but rarely in a style as madcap as the new one from musical comedian Tim Minchin. Minchin takes an absurdist magnifying glass to “bad guy,” blowing up the skittish humor already embedded in the song to a cartoonish scale. Synth basses become accordion wheezes; whispery pre-choruses are, apparently, now sea chanties. Minchin and his band, grinning and seemingly on the verge of laughter for the whole performance, throw in a klezmer finale for good measure. The cover is a chockablock one minute and forty-five seconds — a quick, bizarre and wholly welcomed shock. Continue reading »

Mar 312021
 
best cover songs march 2021
Brandi Carlile – I Remember Everything (John Prine cover)

Millions saw Brandi Carlile cover John Prine’s final song “I Remember Everything” at the recent Grammy Awards. Turns out, it was a preview of a new album, a sequel to 2010’s Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows: Songs of John Prine, one of the best tribute albums ever. Not much more info out there yet – it’ll be out in the fall, apparently – but it has a high bar to live up to. Continue reading »

Jan 122021
 
bridgerton covers

If you are currently binge-watching the Netflix show Bridgerton, yes, that was an orchestral cover of Ariana Grande’s “Thank u, next” you heard. The soundtrack to Bridgerton,a Shonda Rhimes 1800s period piece filled with wealth, lust, and betrayal, is overseen by composer and musician Kris Bowers. Bowers worked with Alexandra Patsavas, who is responsible for the six pop covers scattered through the series. Patsavas told Parade “the choices and their respective placements are each very deliberate, and that the Grande and Swift covers specifically ‘were able to tell the musical story and amplify a female perspective.” Continue reading »