The first single from Björk’s second adult, “Army of Me” might be the closest she ever got to industrial pop sound that was everywhere in the mid ’90s. The synthetic bass, the sample, it’s all low, with only Björk’s vocal (lower in her range) and the clanging percussion brightening things up. On their new cover, Australian singer-songwriter Julia Jacklin and RVG take a less ominous and more wrong approach to the song.
Follow all our Best of 2017 coverage (along with previous year-end lists) here.
Year-end lists are a time to look back. That’s something we’ve been doing a lot of this year.
See, we turned ten years old in 2017 – practically ancient in internet-blog terms – so we’ve indulged in what we feel is well-earned nostalgia. At the beginning of the year, each of our writers picked the ten most important covers in their life (see them here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here). We even listed the ten most important covers in Cover Me‘s life, from the song that inspired the site to our very first Best of the Year winner.
Then, to cap things off, in October we commissioned a 25-track tribute to the cover song itself – which you can still download for free. We love the covers everyone contributed so much, incidentally, that we didn’t consider them for this list. It’d be like picking favorite children – if you had 25 of ’em.
Oh, and have I mentioned I wrote a book? … What’s that you say? I mentioned that constantly? Well, I’m quite proud of it. It’s called Cover Me: The Stories Behind the Greatest Cover Songs of All Time and it makes a great Christmas gift and – ok, ok, I’ll stop. You can find plenty more about it elsewhere.
Suffice to say, there’s been a lot of looking back this year. And we hope you’ll indulge us this one last glance rearward before we leap into 2018. Because if it’s been a hell of a year for us, it’s certainly also been a hell of a year for the cover song in general. Some of this year’s list ranks among the best covers we’ve ever heard, period. So dig in, and thanks for your support this past decade.
– Ray Padgett
Departing markedly from the post-punk stylings of The Strokes, Julia Jacklin’s new cover of “Someday” is nostalgic and wistful. Much of the low key feel is due to the super slow tempo, allowing Jacklin the time to dwell on every word. Her syrupy sweet voice delivers a soda shop worthy 50’s jukebox classic and the guitar is bright and gently strummed, a far cry from the frantic fuzzy haze of the original. The drummer’s choice to hang mostly on cymbals rather than drive the beat with the snare encourages the listener to sit back and groove.