Jun 182022
 

‘The Best Covers Ever’ series counts down our favorite covers of great artists.

paul mccartney covers

There are a lot of weird and wacky images within Alan Aldridge’s 1969 cult classic book The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics. One of the most memorable is a drawing imagining what John, Paul, George, and Ringo will look like as senior citizens. In this fantastical portrait, John and George are depicted as eccentric elders. Ringo, in keeping with his everyman persona, is shown as a shopworn sad sack. But it is Paul McCartney who offers the most disturbing vision of the future. “The cute one” appears as a conservative besuited and well-fed bank manager. His smug grin suggests he is proud to have finally outgrown all that silly pop music nonsense. Continue reading »

Mar 222022
 
rosei thomas always be my baby cover

Mariah Carey;s “Always Be My Baby” is the single that tied her with Madonna and Whitney Houston for the most successful woman in US chart history in terms of #1s. To most people, though, it’s one of the more straightforward pop tracks in her mid ’90s stylistic shift towards more hip hop-influenced music. It was a massive hit but not as much as at least one other song from the same album. (Mariah was really big in the ’90s.) Continue reading »

Aug 102021
 
Porridge Radio New Slang

UK indie pop quartet Porridge Radio have shared a raw, tender cover of The Shins’ “New Slang” as their contribution to the Sub Pop Singles Club, the storied label’s series of limited-edition releases. In their cover, Porridge Radio harness “New Slang”’s earnest spirit and bookish introspection, bobbing along at the clip of a single jangling tambourine just like the original. The band keep the iconic hum-along harmonies intact, accompanied here by a droning violin and some airy keyboards. Dana Margolin’s vocals deserve an honorable mention too, with a performance that feels as eroded and fragile as it does unshakeable. Continue reading »

Jun 152021
 

The Shins’ debut album Oh, Inverted World turns 20 this month. To celebrate the release of the remastered edition, the band commissioned several covers to be released as part of the celebration. First, the band Skullcrusher covered “New Slang”; then Buzzy Lee aka Sasha Spielberg covered “Caring is Creepy.” Most recently Frankie Cosmos covered “Girl Inform Me.” Frankie Cosmos began simply as the stage name of Greta Kline, but now the project has expanded into a full band, including Luke Pyenson on drums and vocals, Alex Bailey on bass guitar and keyboards, and Lauren Martin on keyboards, synthesizers, and harmonies. Continue reading »

Nov 132020
 

MarikaMarika Hackman kicks off Covers with a rendition of Radiohead‘s “You Never Wash Up After Yourself,” a pretty clear indication that the album is born from the ennui of lockdown. We hear flies buzzing, and a slow intake of breath, before Hackman languidly sings over a sparse synth soundscape:

I must get out once in a while

Everything is starting to die

The dust settles, the worms dig

The spiders crawl over the bed.

With her multi-tracked harmonies, Hackman brings an intimate, desolate beauty to this short and simple song of hopelessness. And she makes you wonder where the hell she is headed.
Continue reading »

Mar 232020
 
quarantine covers

Many musicians, unable to go on the road, have taken to performing concerts in their home in the past week. Personally, I have spent a huge amount of time watching various these live streams. The performances have been moving and powerful, an unusually intimate way to see some of your favorite musicians.

Many such shows have included covers, songs that feel right to sing right now, like John Lennon’s “Isolation” or Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” So I decided to round up some of my favorites below.

Unfortunately, many live stream platforms don’t archive the content, so if you miss it live, it’s gone (another reason to watch these streams!). But plenty of great covers have remained online. Check ’em out below, and let us know in the comments what others we shouldn’t miss. Continue reading »