Mar 012024
best cover songs february 2024
Annie Lennox — Nothing Compares 2 U (Prince/Sinéad O’Connor cover)

The emotional highpoint of the Grammys—well, other than Tracy Chapman’s return (covers-adjacent!)–was Annie Lennox’s tribute to Sinéad O’Connor during the In Memoriam. Bonus points because she was backed by two longtime bandmembers of Prince (who, of course, wrote the song), Wendy and Lisa. The teardrop on Lennox’s eye was very Prince, and the political statement at the end was very Sinéad. Continue reading »

Jan 052024
cigarettes after sex motion picture soundtrack

One of Radiohead‘s most unique and distinct songs from Radiohead’s Kid A, “Motion Picture Soundtrack” is a ballad that stands out in their oeuvre both for its unusual arrangement and for how long it took the band to release it. Written before they ever released anything, they had demoed it at least once for a previous album. For Kid A, their turn-of-the-millennium departure from guitar-based rock, they created the song around a pump organ, a instrument they never used before. Guitarist/arranger Johnny Greenwood claimed that the harp-dominated backing arrangement was influenced by ’50s Disney films. This is a long way from “Just.”

Cigarettes After Sex are a Texas dream-pop band who have released two albums and an EP in the last decade. They have tackled both AOR and alternative rock covers in the past, so something like a strange Radiohead ballad feels right up their alley. Continue reading »

Nov 292023
elly-may barnes

Elly-May Barnes is the daughter of rock star Jimmy Barnes and has done everything from backup vocals with her father to cabaret. Now, she’s launched her solo career with her version of Radiohead’s “Creep.” This iteration of the tune is oceanic, with waves of different timbres coming and going in the intro. Piano, panned synths, and a gentle rattle-snake-like shaker all have their say. And then comes her voice.  Continue reading »

Aug 312023
Amanda Palmer and The Righteous Babes — The Last Day of our Acquaintance (Sinéad O’Connor cover)

You’re going to notice a theme here. We have the usual grab-bag included below (see “Best of the Rest”), but, for our featured covers up top, it’s all Sinéad. There were so many wonderful tributes performed, often in concert and always powerful and moving. Many did “Nothing Compares 2 U,” technically a Prince cover but really a Sinéad song now and forever, but others selected from elsewhere in her catalog. Of this one, which just came out Tuesday, Amanda Palmer wrote, “This song means a great deal to me, as does the artist who penned it, along with everything she still stands for.” A portion of the money from sales will be donated to The Irish Women’s Survivor Support Network. Continue reading »

Aug 292023
new friends high and dry

New Friends are self-described “pop gangsters” who hail from Toronto. In an interview with the online magazine Nylon Manila, the band called the forming of their band “organic” and “spontaneous.” Both descriptors, coincidentally, describe their synergetic sound. Their most recent live cover was of the single “High and Dry” from Radiohead’s 1995 The Bends. In the video, the members are bathed in vintage-looking pink and green lights.

While the original intro is strummy and bleak, the New Friends version begins with a compelling swell. Next, the drums ramp up, then…Stefan Boulineau’s mellow vocals take center stage. From the clarity of the falsetto to its swathes of ‘verbed guitar chords, this cover is a true sonic treat. Not to mention, the group seems to dance as a unit! New Friends is not just a band, but rather, a visual and sonic act.

For more great covers of Radiohead click this link!

Aug 212023
Pierce the Veil

Photo Credit: Wall of Sound AU

The post-hardcore/ experimental rock group Pierce the Veil isn’t exactly known for covering songs, but it seems the lead singer has made an exception for the popular radio series Like A Version.

“Karma Police” was the second single released for OK Computer and is a dark philosophical tune inspired by the dystopian book 1984 by George Orwell. PTV’s version of “Karma Police” builds a rich sonic landscape- one that’s melancholic yet energetic, soothing, and discontented. The band struck the perfect balance of paying homage to Radiohead, while still keeping true to their own roots.
Continue reading »