Back in 2016, Karl Blau made the rare double appearance on both our year end lists, Best Cover Songs for “That’s How I Got To Memphis” and Best Cover Albums for Introducing Karl Blau. Now he’s back, with a new cover and a new band. Blau has teamed up with Heyward Howkins and Chet Delcampo, both from the band Later Fortune, for a new project called Opal Eskar. On their self-titled debut EP, this Philadelphia supergroup is also joined by two more local heroes, Charlie Hall and Robbie Bennett, both of The War on Drugs.
Butcher Brown ft. Alex Isley – Best Friend (Brandy cover)
Virginia jazz collective Butcher Brown throws it back to ’90s R&B with this cover of Brandy’s 1994 slow jam “Best Friend.” Though it’s a little out of their usual wheelhouse – for one, it has a singer, Ernie Isley’s daughter no less – they ably blend their own leanings with the retro soul-pop feel. If you like this, don’t miss their rooftop NPR Tiny Desk Concert.
Kate Clover – These Boots Are Made for Walkin’ (Nancy Sinatra cover)
“If Suicide produced a Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood song” is a hell of a tag line, and Kate Clover’s “These Boots” delivers on that premise. The menacing guitar seems pulled straight from “Frankie Teardrop,” while Clover’s vocals channel Sinatra’s swagger. Bonus points for the fun Twin Peaks-esque video.