Dusted || The 10 Best Cover Songs Of April 2024

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, I noted around 70 cover releases that would be worth sharing, including the compilation The Power of the Heart: A Tribute to Lou Reed and David Byrne doing Paramore’s Hard Times (both already received enough attention elsewhere), but with your and our precious time in mind, we have to make choices. Here we go.

Love Will Tear Us Apart || Cover: Pedal Steel Noah || Original: Joy Division
Instrumental covers of new wave hits on a pedal steel guitar? Austin-based teen Noah Faulkner (16) and his even younger brother Nate (13) somehow make it work. Their videos on Instagram and TikTok, always with their dog Kara in the foreground, are popular, and with their Texas Madness EP (out via Lightning Rod Records) they take their successful hobby to the next level. Joy Division’s Love Will Tear Us Apart suddenly sounds quite cheerful.

Jingle Jangle || Cover: theCatherines || Original: The Archies
German songwriter/singer/musician Heiko Schneider has released quite a bit of work under the moniker of theCatherines in recent years, but there was still enough left for a new (digital) album, which bears the telling title Cover Songs, B​-​sides, Rarities​ (TeenyTinyTapes). But what kind of music is it? The tune below provides the answer: “La-da-da, la-da-da // We’ll make the winter springtime and jingle jangle sing time.”

Gone Daddy Gone || Cover: Dirt Byrds || Original: Violent Femmes
Time To Be Proud Records returns with the CD This Ain’t No Disco .​.​.​.​No CBGB’s Tribute To CBGB’s, celebrating twelve bands/artists that played the legendary New York venue. A good reason to put amazing American folk punk band Violent Femmes in the spotlight again; the first single from their debut album is roughed up by British garage rock outfit Dirt Byrds.

Dancing Queen || Cover: Me First and the Gimme Gimmes || Original: ABBA
Almost thirty years into their career and with countless cover releases to their name, it’s about time that American punk rock supergroup Me First and the Gimme Gimmes appears in our Dusted section. Twenty years after they ruined Johnny’s Bar Mitzvah, they are back to wreak havoc on another truly coming-of-age ceremony. From June 14 we can hear how on new album ¡Blow it​…​at Madison’s Quincea​ñ​era! (Fat Wreck Chords), a recording of a live performance where the 15-year-old audience didn’t know what to expect. Here’s the first taster.

Teenage FBI || Cover: Dressy Bessy || Original: Guided by Voices
The Bert Dax Cavalcade Of Stars released the compilation Collapse The Collectors, featuring ten bands/artists covering songs written by Robert Pollard. Tammy Ealom’s indie pop band Dressy Bessy kicks off the album convincingly. This month, the Denver-based outfit coincidentally also contributed their brand new original song Hear Me Out! to the So Many Things At Once compilation (6612 Tapes), which features some unreleased cover songs by others.

Second Time Around || Cover: The Happy Somethings || Original: Bing Crosby
British twee-pop trio The Happy Somethings recently entertained us with Apples & Pairs, but their take on Second Time Around – first heard in the 1960 film High Time, and nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song – is also worth sharing. Proceeds go to The Specialized Project, a social enterprise helping young people in difficult circumstances.

Me And The Devil Blues || Cover: Half Deaf Clatch || Original: Robert Johnson
We’ve written before about the work of British blues musician Andrew McLatchie aka Half Deaf Clatch, but we can’t get enough of his heartfelt gritty vocals and captivating guitar playing. The five tracks on his new EP The Devil’s In​.​.​. (Speak Up Recordings) are again on target, and this applies to both the originals and the covers of Skip James’ Devil Got my Woman and Robert Johnson’s Me And The Devil Blues.

Oh Well || Cover: Midnight Burst featuring Popa Chubby || Original: Fleetwood Mac
Midnight Burst is a French rock & blues band featuring Nikk Giggs, Stan Blaineau and Nicolas Mermoud. They have just released their debut LP A Mazy Night on DixieFrog, which they close with a tribute to Fleetwood Mac by covering Peter Green’s 1969 killer track Oh Well, to which Popa Chubby contributes a guitar solo here. By the way, Slash also shared an excellent cover of the same track last month (together with Chris Stapleton), taken from his upcoming album Orgy Of The Damned.

Long May You Burn || Cover: Mike Watt || Original: Papa M
On a limited new split 7″ vinyl single from Red Parakeet Records, Minutemen’s Mike Watt is covering Papa M’s Long May You Burn, and Papa M aka David Pajo is covering Mike Watt’s Fireman Hurley. It is atmospheric, subdued America full of melancholy, beautiful in every way.

Buffalo Stance || Cover: James Elkington & Nathan Salsburg || Original: Neneh Cherry
The two master guitarists close their third joint full-length album All Gist (Paradise of Bachelors) with a deconstruction of Neneh Cherry’s 1988 hip hop classic Buffalo Stance. In their version it’s a subdued acoustic instrumental of over five minutes, almost unrecognizable but quite wonderful.

Can’t Hardly Wait || Cover: Pert Near Sandstone || Original: The Replacements
At the launch of their Waiting Days LP last year, Minnesota-based bluegrass band Pert Near Sandstone played a new arrangement of The Replacements’ appropriately titled classic Can’t Hardly Wait – on banjo, guitar, mandolin, fiddle, saxophone and trumpet. That was so much fun that they decided to record their live version in the studio, now officially released as a single: “May it represent our gratitude and be an homage to the incredible Twin Cities music scene.”

Also worth mentioning:
Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (Neil Young) by The Shilees
The Girl
(The Rubinoos) by The Half-Cubes
Here Comes Your Man (Pixies) by Zack Keim
Hybrid Moments (Misfits) by Dark & Stormy
I Started a Joke (Bee Gees) by Sunday State
I Wanna Be Sedated (Ramones) by Lunar Vacation
Needle In The Camels Eye (Brian Eno) by Broken Gold
Oyster and the Flying Fish (Kevin Ayers And The Whole World) by A. Savage
The Regulator (Bad Brains) by G.B.I. aka Dave Grohl, Charlie Benante and Scott Ian
Total Eclipse of the Heart (Bonnie Tyler) by The Dirty Nil
You Better Believe It (Small Faces) by The Pink Moon

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

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