Dusted || The 10 Best Cover Songs Of March 2023

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.

March brought new tributes to Harlan Howard (by Willie Nelson), The Rolling Stones (various country artists), Sarah Records (Space Kelly) and Stevie Wonder (Family Company), cover albums from Van Morrison (Moving On Skiffle), Hether (Covered In Hether) and Jerry Leger (Latent Uncovers), and releases with some successful cover songs by Kim Ware, The Silversound, Bad Weed, Cold Expectations, The Naggs, Black Adidas, The Nude Party and The Black Crowes, but the next ten deserve the spotlight the most.

Cut Your Hair || Cover: Midtown || Original: Pavement
American pop-punk band Midtown disappeared from view after their 2004 Forget What You Know LP, as if they had taken its motto a little too seriously. Good news: they will return next month by releasing the covers EP We’re Too Old To Write New Songs So Here’s Some Old Songs We Didn’t Write (out May 26 via TAG Music). The title testifies to self-mockery, the song choices of youth sentiment, the sound of preserved skills. The first tastes in the form of Lagwagon’s Know It All and Pavement’s Cut Your Hair are very enjoyable, nice to be reminded of them.

A Forest || Cover: Tower Defense || Original: The Cure
American indie rock band Tower Defense makes The Cure’s 1980 hit A Forest gain in urgency. In the hands of Currey May (guitar, vocals), Mike Shepherd (tenor bass, vocals), Sarah Lee Shepherd (bass) and Jereme Frey (drums) it becomes a danceable but menacing post-punk banger. It’s the B-side of their single Sea Ranch (out via yk Records).

I Wanna Be Your Dog || Cover: Ole Devil & The Spirit Chasers || Original: The Stooges
This indestructible Stooges classic from 1969 is given a new psychedelic blues rock jacket by Norwegian heavy rock outfit Ole Devil and The Spirit Chasers, and it turns out to fit pretty well (out via Apollon Records).

War Pigs || Cover: Josiah Soren & The Colorblind Pilots || Original: Black Sabbath
Equally shatterproof is Black Sabbath’s 1970 Paranoid anthem War Pigs, which we have already heard in many guises (even The Teskey Brothers play it live regularly), but it always knows how to surprise. Josiah Soren’s supergroup The Colorblind Pilots (US) turn it into a funk rock anthem (out via Color Red), which builds to a climax in 5 minutes: “Oh lord, yeah!”

I Touch Myself || Cover: The Dollyrots || Original: The Divinyls
A year ago we wrote about Down the Rabbit Hole, a career-spanning collection of B-sides and covers that The Dollyrots recorded between 2003-2021, but Kelly Ogden (vocals, bass) and her husband Luis Cabezas (guitar) keep making awesome music. The A-side of their new vinyl 7″ is the original track Hey Girl, the flip side is an exciting cover of the Divinyls’ I Touch Myself (out on Wicked Cool).

Bankrobber || Cover: Salt Lake Alley || Original: The Clash
Swedish indie pop duo Salt Lake Alley – Gustav Tranback and Mikael Carlsson – tried to approach the ska-inspired original like The Byrds did with Bob Dylan’s Mr Tambourine Man, and remarkably enough that jingle jangle sound works very well (out via Shelflife Records).

Real Love Baby || Cover: The Heavy Heavy || Original: Father John Misty
With Life and Life Only, UK soulful roots rock band The Heavy Heavy was responsible for one of the most appealing EPs of 2022. Will Turner and Georgie Fuller respond to the most common criticism that it was way too short, by releasing an expanded edition (out May 19 via ATO). Among the extras is this addictive take on Father John Misty’s Real Love Baby.

I’m In A Dancing Mood || Cover: Jonathan Richman || Original: Delroy Wilson
American singer/songwriter/guitarist Jonathan Richman is a living legend who probably needs no introduction. Slowly but surely his old work is coming back on vinyl – Jonathan Goes Country (1990), one I’ve been trying to get my hands on for quite a while, has been announced for the upcoming Record Store Day – but he’s still making new music too. He closes his Yatasamaroun EP (out on Blue Arrow Records) with a cover of Delroy Wilson’s reggae track I’m In A Dancing Mood, completely in his own style.

‘Cello Song || Cover: Fontaines D.C. || Original: Nick Drake
In a few months, 25-track tribute album The Endless Colored Ways – The Songs Of Nick Drake will be released (out July 7 via Chrysalis Records). The contribution that aroused the most curiosity, that of Irish post-punk sensation Fontaines D.C., can already be heard. Very strong how they give the tune their own twist in terms of structure and sound, but at the same time it also shows great respect for the source.

Together || Cover: Jungle Fire feat. Jamie Allensworth || Original: Ray Barretto
The incredible American Afro/Latin funk collective Jungle Fire often played Ray Barretto’s Together during their live shows as an instrumental interlude, and shared a digital version in 2020 in support of Black Lives Matter, but now they’re officially releasing it on vinyl 7″ (thanks to F-Spot Records). This is a swinging and exciting anthem, sitting still is not an option.

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

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