Nov 012019

Check out the best covers of past months here.

best cover songs october 2019
Angie McMahon – Knowing Me, Knowing You (ABBA cover)

It comes too late for our Best ABBA Covers countdown, but Angie McMahon’s low-simmer version of “Knowing Me, Knowing You” would make a worthy addition. Though it comes coated in a layer of rock grit, the band’s vocal harmonies stand up to the Swedes. And just wait for Angie McMahon’s cover-closing holler. Continue reading »

Sep 302019

Check out the best covers of past months here.

best cover songs september
Anderson .Paak – Old Town Road (Lil Nas X cover)

Given how thoroughly “Old Town Road” dominated the summer – the longest-reigning Billboard #1 in history, for those under-a-rock-dwellers among you – it seems shocking that it took until now for the first truly great cover to emerge. Less shocking: that it came from rapper/singer/drummer extraordinaire Anderson .Paak. Back in May, he performed a more straightforward version with Lil Nas X himself, but for BBC’s Live Lounge he and his band The Free Nationals reinvented it into a soul groove with shades of D’Angelo. Continue reading »

Jun 292016

The Replacements‘ “Bastards of Young” is an undeniable indie-punk anthem and the worst song you could cover. Walk into any opening set at Baby’s All Right and some hyped up indie-new-wave, Simpson-wave, or I-want-fall-asleep-this-is-so-meh-wave band will butcher this classic and will sound almost as bad as your lame alternative folksinger friend trying to cover “Skinny Love” with a tuba. If you’re going to cover The Replacements, pick a better song off Tim.

However, Katy Goodman (La Sera and formerly Vivian Girls) and Greta Morgan (Springtime Carnivore) covering “Bastards of Young” is newsworthy and worth your time for two reasons. One, it’s off the duo’s upcoming covers album, Take It, It’s Yours (August 26 via Polyvinyl Records), featuring covers of punk and new wave songs from The Stooges, The Jam, Blondie, Bad Brains, and more – check out Pitchfork for the full tracklist. Two, Goodman and Morgan actually manage to do something interesting with a song that’s been covered to death. They take out the yells and and the fight-or-die guitars and bring in poolside tremolo guitars and keyboards and soothing harmonies to highlight the surprisingly strong lyrics. It sounds like a Real Estate song in the best way possible, and it’s an example of one of the golden rules for covering songs: If you’re going to cover a massively beloved hit, it’s best to do something different and interesting.

Here’s Goodman in a statement about the upcoming album:

“On the surface a song like [Bad Brains’] “Pay to Cum” seems really masculine, but to me, the lyrics are really more about freedom. You have the right to sing, you have the right to dance. When you have two girls harmonizing on these songs, they take on a new meaning, because you’re listening in a different way. … These songs helped shaped who we are. They gave us the songs, and now we get to give them back as our thank you.”

Pre-order the album here. Photo by Julia Brokaw.

Apr 132011

The Guided by Voices tribute album comes out this weekend, and as we approach its Record Store Day release, we’re hearing more and more of what we can look forward to. We’ve already played you covers by Thurston Moore, Cymbals Eat Guitars and Mass Solo Revolt, and now it’s time to draw your attention to another. Continue reading »

Jul 142010

The folks at War Child know how to put together a charity album, no doubt about that. Their previous offering featured classic artists handpicking young folks to cover them. This led to the Hold Steady signing Springsteen (naturally) and Lily Allen rocking the Clash (less naturally). Their latest features two discs of new David Bowie covers, three of which you can check out below.

What album’s name is unclear. It was called Repetition and that’s still how your order it. New press releases refer to it as We Were So Turned On though. So, yeah, the title is probably one of those. Unless it isn’t. What we do know is that the lineup includes new ones by Duran Duran, A Place to Bury Strangers, Chairlift, and 39 more. Yowza!

Three tracks have premiered so far. Vivian Girls go surf-fuzz on “John I’m Only Dancing,” Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes freak-folkify “Memory of a Free Festival,” and Swahili Blonde (feat. ex-Chili Pepper John Frusciante) lend a disco thump to “Red Money.” Check them out below along with the full tracklist.
Continue reading »

Dec 052009

Cover News is a weekly feature keeping you up to date on the goings-on in the world of cover tunes, tribute albums, etc. Plus, at the bottom we post the array of cover tunes we’ve been sent in the past week. Have you recorded a cool cover? Send an mp3 to the email address on the right and we’ll post it!

This Week’s News

Every day of Advent Cover Me will be tweeting out a new Christmas cover. 25 days, 25 songs. I’ll catch you up to speed on the first four, but to get the rest follow us on Twitter! [Twitter]
DAY 1: Julian Casablancas – I Wish It Was Christmas Today
DAY 2: Copeland – Do You Hear What I Hear?
DAY 3: Sufjan Stevens – Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming
DAY 4: Bruce Springsteen – Jungle Bell Rock
DAY 5: Coming soon to Twitter…

Only two more days to vote on November’s Cover Commissions! Then, later this week, December’s vote begins. [Cover Me]

Turn it up to 11! New Spinal Tap tribute album up over at Coverville, featuring friend of the blog John Dissed taking on the holiday classic “Christmas with the Devil.” [Coverville]

The people behind the epic Springsteen tribute Play Some Pool… just released a free four-track Christmas EP with two originals and two covers of holiday tunes by Wham! and the Beach Boys. [Where It’s At Is Where You Are]

MGMT covers never get old. With that in mind, check out Digital Leather’s new version of “Time to Pretend”! [Stereogum]

At a recent My Old Kentucky Blog show, Blind Pilot covered Gillian Welch’s “Look At Miss Ohio.” The nice thing about blog-sponsored shows: they tend to be filmed. [MOKB]

YouTube cover gal Nataly Dawn’s got a new one up, the Magnetic Fields’ “Book of Love.” Even better: you can download half a dozen free covers at her MySpace. [YouTube]

There’s been a lot of speculation over when/where the Flaming Lips would do their rumored Dark Side of the Moon cover. Well, it’s New Year’s Eve in their native Oklahoma City! [Flaming Lips]

Bacardi commissioned Van She to cover “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper,” thus sending the message to teens everywhere that dying from drinking too much vodka is nothing to worry about. [Soundcloud]

This Week’s Submissions

Tristan Clopet – Roslyn (Bon Iver & St. Vincent) [more]

Neil Nathan – Santa Claus Is Coming to Town [more]

The Peptides – Fallen Leaves (Billy Talent) [more]

Taxi Taxi – Oh My Darling, Clementine (Trad.) [more]

Twiggy Frostbite – Little Drop of Poison (Tom Waits) [more]

Vivian Girls – He’s Gone (The Chantels) [more]