Dusted || The 10 Best Cover Songs Of April 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.

In April, we listened to nice fresh cover releases by Taj Mahal (Savoy), Ryan Adams (Morning Glory), The Wanders (12 Big Ones), Fifi & Les FauxFauxs (Les Demonstrations), Erin Rae (Lagniappe Session), Acoustic Blues Drîfter (Blue & Green), Shannon Lay (Covers Vol. 1), Papa Surf (Mr Sinister), Rachel Bobbitt (Party Police), and various artists paying tribute to The Posies’ Frosting On The Beater (Positive Signs), but there was much more. The selection we made below is less noisy than usual – if you feel the need, you can check out new covers of Michael Sembello’s Maniac by The Dead Krazukies (punk rock) or by Omnium Gatherum (death metal), or of Black Sabbath’s War Pigs by Eva Under Fire (classic rock) or by Josiah Soren & The Colorblind Pilots (funk) – but definitely worth your attention.

Odio Los Lunes || Cover: Los Hermanos Dalton || Original: The Boomtown Rats
Andalusian punk pop group Los Hermanos Dalton offer a welcome return with the Dije Cara Y Eso Salió single, out digitally and on vinyl 7″ through Hurrah! Música. The title track is an amazing summer hit, the flipside contains a intense cover of The Boomtown Rats’ 1979 hit I Don’t Like Mondays, sung in Spanish.

Subway Train || Cover: Protex || Original: New York Dolls
Time To Be Proud Compilations released the Last Man Standing New York Dolls Tribute (out digitally and on CD), on which eight Northern Irish Bands celebrate the influence of the American rock/punk/glam outfit. All eight covers are quite entertaining, but we were most curious about the contribution of Belfast punk band Protex. Their take on Subway Train is as casually cool as you can expect.

Workin’ Too Hard || Cover: Woolen Men || Original: The Nerves
For the seventh release in the Woolen Men Singles Club, the Portland, Oregon basement-punk trio turned to power pop trio The Nerves. Alex Geddes (bass, vocals), Lawton Browning (guitar) and Rafael Spielman (drums) proudly maintain the appeal of Working Too Hard. Out digitally via Eggy Records.

Smile Like You Mean It || Cover: Spanish Love Songs || Original: The Killers
Los Angeles, California five-piece punk rock band Spanish Love Songs open their new four-track Doom & Gloom Sessions EP with this Killers cover, which stays pretty true to the original. It’s less fierce than what they usually do, but that suits them quite well. Out digitally via Pure Noise Records.

Bullet With Butterfly Wings || Cover: Marie Seyrat || Original: The Smashing Pumpkins
French record producer and singer-songwriter Marie Seyrat, one half of folk-pop duo Freedom Fry, has planned to release a number of covers. The first, an understated and melancholic version of The Smashing Pumpkins’ 1995 hit, is certainly promising. Out digitally via Caveman Arts Society.

He’s a Man || Cover: Nutana || Original: Tame Impala
Nutana is a new solo project from Sam Corbett, who we know as drummer of The Sheepdogs. The beautiful self-titled debut album, out digitally and on vinyl LP via One More Pastime, features 15 atmospheric folk-rock songs, including covers of Buffy Sainte-Marie’s Cod’ine and Tame Impala’s Cause I’m A Man, the lead single from their third album Currents.

Blue Velvet || Cover: Messer Chups || Original: Tony Bennett
In 1951 Tony Bennett was the first to record Blue Velvet, a moody song written and composed by Bernie Wayne and Lee Morris. The 1963 version by Bobby Vinton (with Burt Bacharach and his orchestra) is probably more famous, thanks to its use in David Lynch’s 1986 movie of the same name. It’s been covered many times, notably by Lana Del Rey for an H&M campaign, but I hadn’t heard a surf rendition yet. Leave that to Oleg “Gitarkin” Fomchenkov and Svetlana “Zombierella” Nagaeva: it’s the closing track from Messer Chups’ new Night Stripper EP, out digitally and on vinyl 7″ through Hi-Tide Recordings.

Did You Know That There’s A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd || Cover: The Reds, Pinks & Purples || Original: Lana Del Rey
Speaking of Lana Del Rey, the American singer-songwriter released her ninth studio album in March. The title track of Did You Know That There’s A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd has already received a post-indie edit by Glenn Donaldson’s Reds, Pinks & Purples. Distorted guitars take away the cinematic shine, but ominous menace takes its place. Out digitally via Burundi Cloud.

Only You || Cover: Susanna Hoffs || Original: Yazoo
American singer/songwriter/guitarist Susanna Hoffs will forever be associated with The Bangles, but she also has a good track record as a solo artist. Her 2021 cover album Bright Lights now gets a follow-up with The Deep End (out on CD through Baroque Folk), featuring thirteen successful covers that suit her voice well. The sources include contemporary artists such as Billie Eilish and Ed Sheeran, as well as classics such as The Rolling Stones, Leslie Gore and Yazoo.

All The Young Dudes || Cover: Easy Star All-Stars featuring Kirsty Rock || Original: Mott the Hoople
American reggae collective Easy Star All-Stars return with Ziggy Stardub, their first tribute album since 2012. It’s a complete reggae re-imagining of David Bowie’s 1972 LP The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, and that works better than you might expect, thanks in part to guest performances by some big names. The digital and CD version contain four songs more than the vinyl LP (out on Easy Star Records), including Mott The Hoople’s All The Young Dudes, not from the Bowie album but written by him and released in the same year.

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

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