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 »

Sep 082021
Phoebe Bridgers Skatune Network

Covers performed by Phoebe Bridgers have received many a recent notice here at Cover Me. The selections run the gamut, from Metallica and McCartney to Wheatus and A Star is Born. It’s a far less common occurrence, though, for us to have as many takes on Phoebe’s own songs performed by others — let alone a pair in such rapid succession, alongside Spacey Jane last week. Continue reading »

Sep 022021
spacey jane scott street

Indie-rock band Spacey Jane, who dominated the Australian music scene last year, have covered another musical juggernaut of 2020: Phoebe Bridgers. Their cover of her 2017 track “Scott Street” for Apple Music’s Home Sessions captures the meandering melancholy of the original even after stripping back its sweeping production.

The guitar-forward sound of the original version means an acoustic cover on its own won’t add anything surprising, but the vocals by Caleb Harper and bassist Peppa Lane bring a contemplative quality to the track. Overall, it’s a moving rendition leading to the stunning outro that “Scott Street” producer Tony Berg has described as sounding “as if you’re looking back on your life, and it was just a failure.”

Check out the cover on Apple Music below. The band also performed acoustic versions of their own “Booster Seat” and “Lots of Nothing” as part of the sessions.

Check out more covers of and by Phoebe Bridgers here.

Aug 202021
Phoebe Bridgers

There are just an absolute slew of Metallica (the album) covers appearing these days, as part of the build up to The Blacklist, the forthcoming “Black Album” tribute album. Ten of the tribute’s covers–count ’em, ten–are of the song “Nothing Else Matters.” Arguably the most commercial song Metallica had yet written, it was a marked departure for the band when Hetfield wrote it. (Apparently he didn’t initially write it to record with Metallica.) It’s since become Metallica’s best-selling song, and it’s perhaps most accessible to softer treatments of any song in their catalogue.

There’s long been a bit of a baroque feel to the softest parts Metallica’s music. As early as Ride the Lightning, the band introduced acoustic guitars that had a baroque feel. So it shouldn’t be that much of a surprise when Phoebe Bridgers‘ new cover of “Nothing Else Matters” opens with piano (backed by something like a plucked cello?) that could almost recall baroque music.

The song is basically the same tempo, but is considerably softer. It builds slowly and softly with additional strings entering and some double-tracked vocals on the refrain. At around three minutes, electronic percussion comes in to give the song a little more heft. But even with the limited percussion, the vibe is still soft and somber.

Perhaps it’s a bit obvious, as going softer than the original is the easy route. But it’s an extremely pretty version, and Bridgers shows a lot of restraint with the arrangement. Check it out below:

Jun 162021

Welcome to Cover Me Q&A, where we take your questions about cover songs and answer them to the best of our ability.

a cappella cover

Here at Cover Me Q&A, we’ll be taking questions about cover songs and giving as many different answers as we can. This will give us a chance to hold forth on covers we might not otherwise get to talk about, to give Cover Me readers a chance to learn more about individual staffers’ tastes and writing styles, and to provide an opportunity for some back-and-forth, as we’ll be taking requests (learn how to do so at feature’s end).

Today’s question, suggested by staffer Curtis Zimmerman: What’s your favorite cover of a fictional song?
Continue reading »

Apr 302021
best cover songs april 2021
Dave Richardson – Bright Phoebus (Lal & Mike Waterson cover)

Vermonter Dave Richardson digs deep into folk-rock history on his new album Palms to Pines, covering the title track of Lal & Mike Waterson’s 1972 album Bright Phoebus. Deeply obscure at the time – only 1,000 copies were initially pressed – it became known as “folk music’s Sgt. Pepper” among the very, very few people who actually heard it. The record has seen a recent resurgence with champions like Arcade Fire and Jarvis Cocker leading to a 2017 re-release on überhip Domino Records. Richardson makes it sound like a classic all along. Continue reading »