Dec 152023

Follow all our Best of 2023 coverage (along with previous year-end lists) here.

I like to think that badass lady in the artwork up there (done by our own Hope Silverman!) embodies the spirit of this year’s list. Not that they’re all CBGB-style punk songs—though there are a couple—but in her devil-may-care attitude. “Who says I shouldn’t do a hardcore cover of the Cranberries? A post-punk cover of Nick Drake? A hip-hop cover of The Highwaymen? Screw that!”

As with most good covers, the 50 covers we pulled out among the thousands we listened to bring a healthy blend of reverence and irreverence. Reverence because the artists love the source material. Irreverence because they’re not afraid to warp it, bend it, mold it in their own image. A few of the songs below are fairly obscure, but most you probably already know. Just not like this.


Apr 152013

Though one might associate “You Are My Sunshine” with a cheery delivery, it’s not altogether uncommon to find darker takes on it. After all, the lyrics (anywhere beyond the chorus) are more full of despair than the song’s titular sunshine. There are plenty of artists that will bring out the minor chords or less upbeat vocals than one might expect, but it’s a song that too few ultimately take to its fullest potential. At its lightest, it’s a piece saturated with melancholy; at its darkest and heaviest, at its most transformative, you’ll find Bent Knee. Continue reading »