Oct 272022
say sue me elevate me later cover

It’s the 10th anniversary of the founding of South Korean band Say Sue Me. And they’ve decided to acknowledge it with a covers “EP.” (“EP” is not quite literal here, as there are 8 songs, ranging from two minutes to five.)

One of those songs is “Elevate Me Later,” a track from Pavement‘s second album, Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain. It’s apparently a sequel to “Loretta’s Scars” on their debut album, though the lyrics to the two songs don’t have much in common. The original is pretty classic Pavement, sardonic, quirky indie rock which deftly balances melody with an artsy edge.

Say Sue Me take a different approach. Their cover has an almost “country lounge” or “country tropicalia” quality, with a swaying tropical rhythm and twangy guitar. Lead singer Sumi Choi has a much pleasanter delivery than Stephen Malkmus. Near the end of each verse some pleasant but mathy lead guitar comes in. And after the second verse there is a vaguely jazzy guitar solo. The biggest surprise of their version is the false ending, which comes right when you’d expect the song to end.

It’s a pretty drastic rethinking of the song. I’m not sure how much it suits the lyrics but it’s still a fun spin on a classic Pavement track, and the vibe and style feels quite divorced from the original.

Dec 172018
best cover songs of 2018

Two things strike me as I scan through our list this year. This first is that many of the highest-ranking covers are tributes to recently-deceased icons. No surprise there, I suppose. But none actually pay tribute to artists that died in 2018. They honor those we’ve been honoring for two or three years now – your Pettys, your Princes, your Bowies. Hundreds of covers of each of these legends appeared in the first days after their deaths, but many of the best posthumous covers took longer to emerge.

Good covers take time. That principle – the cover-song equivalent of the slow food movement, perhaps – holds true throughout the list. Sure, a few here appear to have arisen from sudden moments of brilliance, flash-arranged for some concert or radio promo session. But many more reveal months or even years of painstaking work to nail every element. Making someone else’s song one’s own isn’t easy. These 50 covers took the time to get it right.

– Ray Padgett, Editor-in-Chief

Start the countdown on the next page…


Apr 302018
best cover songs april

April was the best month for covers of the year so far. There’s no particular reason for that, I suspect. These things just ebb and flow. But the fact remains that it was a proverbial embarrassment of riches, as the length of the list below confirms.

As always, there’s no quality difference between the main picks and the honorable mentions; a cover’s categorization is only determined by how much I had to say about it. Continue reading »