Dusted || The 10 Best Cover Songs Of September 2022

Not all new music is really new, as many artists cover songs. Sometimes these are songs by their favorite artists, eg as a tribute to such a musical hero for a special reason, or they simply feel that a song deserves to be dusted and polished to reacquaint fans with great songs from the past. Other times, bands cover songs as a parody. Regardless of intent, some of those cover versions are so good or so much fun, we’d like to put a spotlight on them. Chosen from a wide range, here are – in random order – ten of our favorite covers from last month – links to the pages where you can add them to your wantlist included.

In September we heard Rita Wilson’s Now & Forever cover LP featuring duets with Willie Nelson, Smokey Robinson, Elvis Costello and other big names, Aquarium Drunkard’s Lagniappe SuperSession featuring 33 artists interpreting the music of James Toth (Wooden Wand), Geoff Palmer’s version of Dee Dee Ramone’s Standing In The Spotlight album, the 15-track Sea Creatures compilation as a homage to the songwriting of Jeffrey Lewis, a sponsored Old Man cover by Beck that Neil Young was unhappy with, and previously we wrote about releases from Herman Hitson, Hayley And The Crushers, Crocodile Tears, Dangüs Tarküs and The Manges with some successful cover versions. We actually saw too many other cover versions come along, most of which were slow and subdued – apparently fall has has caught up with music too. Below is a selection of songs that haven’t yet received the attention they deserve.

I Just Wanted To See You So Bad || Cover: Quivers || Original: Lucinda Williams
On the flip side of their new single If Only, Melbourne four-piece Quivers cover a hidden gem of Lucinda Williams’ 1989 self-titled LP, sung by Bella Quinlan: “It felt so good to have a bit of a shouted call and response.” Out on red colored vinyl 7″ through Ba Da Bing!.

Surely Justice || Cover: Michael Simmons || Original: Darryl-Ann
Daryll-Ann was a Dutch indie rock/power pop band featuring songwriters Jelle Paulusma and Anne Soldaat, popular on local alternative radio stations in the 1990s. Not an obvious band to cover, but Californian singer-songwriter/guitarist Michael Simmons (Popdudes, Yorktown Lads, Sparkle*Jets U.K.) discovered them by accident while watching a YouTube video about a vinyl pressing plant, and couldn’t resist: “These songs immediately hit me when I heard them and made me feel, well, joyful. Joyful doesn’t happen to me very often and I took notice.” On his Happy Traum EP you can hear four cover versions of songs from Darryl-Ann’s 1999 Happy Traum LP – perfect pop. Out digitally and on CD through Big Stir Records.

Storms || Cover: Phosphorescent || Original: Fleetwood Mac
Brooklyn, New York-based indie folk artist Matthew Houck aka Phosphorescent is delivering a new cover song every month this year (digitally via Calldown Music), and they’re all beautiful. Following Bad News From Home (Randy Newman), Like a Rolling Stone (Bob Dylan) and To Love Somebody (Bee Gees), among others, he dared to take care of Fleetwood Mac’s acoustic ballad Storms, from the 1979 Tusk album. Very beautiful, again – he knows how to create an atmosphere with his music, and what a great voice that man has.

Animal Farm || Cover: Sweet Pete || Original: The Kinks
The Kinks have been covered a lot lately. Steady Holiday and Bedouine did a nice version of People Take Pictures Of Each Other last month, but we chose the B-side of Sweet Pete’s new single I Wanna Be A Piggy. In their version of Animal Farm, Pete Mazza (vocals, guitar), Trevor Lake (drums), Francis Carr Jr (bass) and Hunter Davidsohn (organ) stay fairly close to the original of The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society (1968), written by Ray Davies, although they even seem to add some intensity and psychedelics. Out digitally and on vinyl 7″ through Nudie Records. Do yourself a favor and also revisit Sweet Pete’s 2021 LP Say Hello again.

Trees & Flowers || Cover: Pleasant Mob || Original: Strawberry Switchblade
Pleasant Mob are a new project featuring members of Spread Joy, Tobacco City, Glyders and Fran: Raidy Hodges (vocals, guitar, bass), Lexi Goddard (vocals), Eliza Weber (bass), Chris Coleslaw (guitar), Tyler Bixby ( drums) and Maria Jacobson (flute). On the A-side of their debut single you can hear the appealing original psych-pop song Irene, the B-side is a delightful rendition of Strawberry Switchblade’s 1983 debut Trees & Flowers. Out now via Feel It Records. Hopefully we’ll get more from this Chicago-based band soon.

I Wanna Be Adored || Cover: Antilopedevega || Original: The Stone Roses
Former Stone Roses frontman Ian Brown has started a new tour without a backing band – “karaoke gigs” that led to criticism. At the same time, David Haro came with his new single Fantas​í​a Enmarcada under the moniker of Antelopedevega, backed with an electronic cold wave/dream pop cover of I Wanna Be Adored – out digitally via Discos De Kirlian. Quite different, but probably easier to enjoy than a dubious live version of the original.

Hungry Eyes || Cover: Berlin Blackouts || Original: Eric Carmen
German punk rock outfit Berlin Blackouts recorded eleven new “Eyecatchers”, collected on a 25-minute double-EP on the subject of “eyes”, out digitally and on vinyl LP through Wanda Records. Eric Carmen’s gooey 1987 soundtrack hit Hungry Eyes (from Dirty Dancing) is now a lot more enjoyable – a saxophone provides extra spice.

Open My Eyes || Cover: Fernando Perdomo featuring Cait Brennan || Original: Nazz
American producer/singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Fernando Perdomo put a collection of no less than 40 cover songs online (including two “eyes” titles not yet chosen by Berlin Blackouts), pretty well done. The opening track rightly puts Nazz’s 1968 garage rock nugget Open My Eyes in the spotlight. Covers, with contributions from various guest musicians, is out digitally (self-released).

You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory || Cover: McRackins || Original: Johnny Thunders
According to Discogs, Canadian pop punk four-piece McRackins have approximately 70 releases from over 30 different record labels to their credit. To that overview we can now add the nice three-track L​.​A​.​M​.​P. EP, which contains a convincing version of Johnny Thunders’ unforgettable 1978 classic.

Pump It Up || Cover: Sammy Hagar & The Circle || Original: Elvis Costello & The Attractions
Last Friday, American rock legend Sammy Hagar released his new album Crazy Times (Universal CD/LP), joined by supergroup The Circle (Dave Cobb, Jason Bonham, Michael Anthony, Vic Johnson): “There was joy in the hard work, catharsis and the camaraderie we’d craved. It was like those two years of not being able to do very much fell away and we really all came together and let it out in the music and lyrics. We were able to express what we all felt.” In addition to the original tunes, there’s a pumped-up version of Elvis Costello’s 1978 hit Pump It Up that puts a big smile on my face.

Check out our Dusted playlist on Spotify for more cool cover songs.

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