Courting is a collection of rockers straight out of Liverpool, England. As fans await the arrival of their newest album New Last Name the group decided to release an unrestrained and boisterous cover Olivia Rodrigo’s 2023 hit “Bad Idea Right?” When the band posted a snip of their cover on Instagram, they joked that it’s “Maybe better than [their] new album.”
BABii — Lovefool (The Cardigans cover)
Brent Amaker And The Rodeo – Gut Feeling (Devo cover)
boygenius ft. Ye Vagabonds — The Parting Glass (Trad. cover)
Every year, Phoebe Bridgers releases a surprise cover around the holidays to benefit charity. This year, she brought in her boygenius bandmates as well as vocal group Ye Vagabonds to cover “The Parting Glass.” It’s a traditional Irish tune, but their version pays specific homage to Sinead O’Connor, who covered it in 2002. Sales benefit the Aisling Project, an after-school project working with children and young people growing up in a disadvantaged area of Dublin. The beneficiary was chosen by the estate of O’Connor, who died in July.
Deer Tick – Dancing In The Dark (Bruce Springsteen cover)
“For me, ‘Dancing in the Dark’ isn’t a song about romance, but instead a desperate plea to break out of some degraded, stagnant situation. The narrator is filled with angst, self doubt, and the only way out is to the sheer force of unwavering will power,” says Deer Tick guitarist/vocalist Ian O’Neil. “Bruce really shows us who he is on this one and it looks an awful lot like the rest of us.”
Die Sauerkrauts Polka Band — Now That’s What I Call Polka! (Weird Al cover)
There are a lot of Weird Al covers out there (okay, maybe not a lot, but more than you might think). This is new though. This band didn’t cover one of Weird Al’s parodies. They didn’t even cover a Weird Al original, like “Dare to Be Stupid.” They covered one of his polka medleys (a subject I interviewed Al about in Cover Me the book—excerpt at The AV Club). Meaning, they covered polka versions of hits by Miley Cyrus, One Direction, Gotye, and many more, all in a brisk medley. A very silly music video brings it home.
Adam Lambert – Getting Older (Billie Eilish cover)
On his new covers album High Drama, Adam Lambert didn’t pick one of the obvious Billie Eilish songs to cover (“Bad Guy,” “Everything I Wanted,” etc). He goes for relative deep cut “Getting Older,” off her 2021 album Happier Than Ever. Eilish’s original was fairly minimalist. Lambert doesn’t do “minimalist.” His “glam” version, as he describes it, makes the song sound like a much bigger hit than it was.
Whenever the Grammy Awards roll around, I find myself paying far more attention to the “down-ticket” categories than the main ones. While the endless debates about the artistic merits of Harry Styles versus Beyoncé light up Twitter, a Grammy win for one of the lesser-known artists can do wonders for their career. This year I was especially excited for Molly Tuttle winning the award for Best Bluegrass Album (she was also nominated for Best New Artist). Tuttle is one of the leading bluegrass guitar wizards of our age. Her album, Crooked Tree, featured a solid fusion of country, folk and bluegrass. The deluxe edition included an exceptional cover of the Grateful Dead’s “Dire Wolf.”