Alternative Rock

Dusted || The 10 Best Cover Songs Of January 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 January we heard new cover albums from Ryan Adams (Springsteen’s Nebraska), Kepi Ghoulie (new wave on Full Moon Fever), Teresa James & The Rhythm Tramps (Beatles classics with soul: With a Little Help from Her Friends), but also many more successful reinterpretations. The next ones enchanted us the most.

Baby Please Don’t Go || Cover: Lola Lola || Original: Traditional
The theme is probably several hundred years old, but Big Joe Williams (1935), Muddy Waters (1953) and Them (1964) popularized it, and still Baby, Please Don’t Go is widely covered in all possible genres. This month a nice cowpunk version of Dash Rip Rock came out, but this exotic popcorn banger from Portuguese R&B outfit Lola Lola is even more exciting – they ensure that the classic remains a hit on the dance floor in 2023. Out now digitally and on vinyl 7″ through Chaputa! Records.

New album: Wet Future || Under the Weather

No idea how I got home yesterday, because I listened to Under the Weather, the full-length debut album by Canadian four-piece Wet Future. Apparently I was so immersed in the nine alternative rock songs with driving melodies, fascinating lyrics (“I was trying to get inside ya”, did I hear that right?) and intense vocals, that I didn’t consciously notice what was going on around me.

Sean Lyons (vocals, rhythm guitar), Lucas Bosma (lead guitar), Miles Mclaren (bass) and Brett Attig (drums) formed Wet Future during the covid pandemic, recorded their first single Toughen Up in November of 2020 and built steadily thereafter to the rest of this quite convincing LP. They created a big sound that – let’s predict success – will appeal to a large audience.

Under the Weather is streaming only for now (self-released).

New album: John McCabe || Somehow Or Another (2017​-​2022 EPs and singles compilation)

Californian musician/artist John McCabe made it to my year-end list with his 3-track EP No One Ever Says, but it turns out there’s a lot more where that came from. Subjangle, the ever-reliable label (and source) for the best jangle pop sounds, has taken on the honorable task of bringing together a selection of favorite singles and all five of his EPs released since 2017 on a double CD. Somehow Or Another is a strong compilation on which jangly alternative rock and heartfelt and Americana melt together in 26 powerful 3-minute songs, always with those unmistakable vocals that demand your attention. Beautiful, melancholy and vigorous.

Somehow Or Another (2017​-​2022 EPs and singles compilation) is out now digitally and on 2CD through Subjangle. RIYL: R.E.M., The Rain Parade, Miracle Legion.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Running Man || Running Man

Running Man (Rock Island, Illinois) may be a new project, but its members are scene veterans. Skip Greer (Wynona Riders, and currrent Dead Kennedys frontman) is the band vocalist, and he is joined by musicians with a history in bands like Mondo Drag, The Multiple Cat, Humans, Lord Green, Meth and Goats, and Tambourine: Jamie Warren, Chad Gooch, Dennis Hockaday, and Patrick Stolley. Their 8-song self-titled debut rocks pretty hard in old school fashion. Running Man are not necessarily a proto punk band, nor a power pop or garage band, but all of these sonic directions are present in their sound. It’s unpolished, slightly offbeat and quite original. Running Man seems to operate in the same exciting corner as The Cowboys and Class. This is definitely recommended listening if you like those bands.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Glyders || Maria’s Hunt

The cover art doesn’t give much away what to expect, but Glyders are a Chicago-based trio that turn up the heat with their neo-psychedelic Americana peppered with T. Rex influences. Their full-length debut LP Maria’s Hunt contains ten atmospheric songs, dreamy and mysterious – recorded analogue at home, classic quality. Josh Condon (vocals, guitar), Eliza Weber (bass) Joe Seger (drums) have created a wonderful album full of colorful music that could be the soundtrack of a road movie through the desert.

Maria’s Hunt is out now digitally, on cassette and vinyl LP through Country Thyme/Drag City Records. You can listen to the full album via Soundcloud and the streaming services. RILY The Stands’ All Years Leaving and The Wheels’ The Year Of The Monkey.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Drag City

New album: Kepi Ghoulie || Full Moon Fever

I count Kepi Ghoulie as pop punk royalty. His distinct voice, infectious enthusiasm and love for music has brought us countless memorable songs, moments and shows. He truly is a positive force in underground music. After the beloved Groovie Ghoulies called it quits, Kepi has built quite the discography as a solo artist. His latest is called Full Moon Fever, a record that started as a challenge from Slackers drummer Ara Babajian: would he, together with B-Face on bass, be interested in transforming their shared love for the darker side of rock, pop, goth, and new wave eras into a covers album? They quickly made a selection of songs by The Cure, Nick Cave, Jesus and the Mary Chain, Lou Reed, Mazzy Star, The Lords Of The New Church, and Peter Murphy. Looking at their track list, they decided that with the addition of Heroes (Bowie) and Cosmic Dancer (T-Rex), they would create a personal desert island mix tape – about the most convincing argument to include these classics.

Full Moon Fever is out now through Pirates Press Records – with artwork of Tom Neely and pressed on neon violet vinyl. It’s a covers record that stays away from parody and irony. Nor should you expect one-for-one copies of the originals. What you will get? A fun record full of tasteful renditions and lively reimaginations of well and lesser known classics – below are some of my current favorites. And if this record has gotten you excited, did you know that Pirates Press plans on reissuing several records from Kepi’s back catalogue, including several Groovie Ghoulies LP’s? Siked for that as well, but first things first. Put on Full Moon Fever and enjoy the ride.

Looking for more cover songs? Make sure to follow our monthly covers overview.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs

New album: Cosmopaark || and i can’t breathe enough

This is one of those albums that you have to hear at least three times to really appreciate it. We’re talking about and i can’t breathe enough, the full-length debut album from up-and-coming French shoegaze sensation Cosmopaark. Influenced by the genre pioneers of the 90s, but completely contemporary. Clément Pelo (vocals, guitar, synths), Simon Mehalleb (bass, vocals, synths) and Baptiste Sauvion (drums, percussion) take you on a trip full of contradictions – at first hearing through a dark and ominous labyrinth with a massive wall of sound, but occasionally there is a turn with lightness and introverted dream pop. They explore the contradictions between past and future and between irrationality and reality: Can you sell your smile to the highest bidder? // Leave it here and put it there for something better” (from Haunted House). These ten songs are an emotional soundtrack for the current era in which we swing back and forth between hope and fear.

and i can’t breathe enough is out now digitally and on vinyl LP through Howlin’ Banana Records and Flippin’ Freaks Records and on cassette via Stellar Frequencies. RIYL: My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, Diiv, Ringo Deathstarr.

Add to wantlist: BandcampFlippin’ Freaks / Howlin Banana / Stellar Frequencies || Discogs

New single: Billie Eternal || Moonlight Paradise​/​Astronaut

Billie Eternal is a Sydney-based band featuring Martin Green (guitar, vocals), Matt Stewart (bass, background vocals) and Jack Chapman (drums, background vocals). On their new single they manage to bring together different rock styles (alternative, garage, grunge) in two strong and well-constructed power pop songs, and they do so with a coolness that is typical for Australian musicians who spend a lot of time on the beach. A-side Moonlight Paradise is a subdued but powerful five and a half minute anthem, flipside Astronaut is shorter and heavier but just as convincing. Hits with hooks.

Moonlight Paradise b/w Astronaut is out now digitally. Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: CVC || Get Real

To start with the inevitable comparisons, fans of the records released by JJ Cale, Todd Rundgren and Steely Dan in the 70s will feel right at home with CVC‘s music. However, they are not a pastiche, but live up to the title of their varied debut album: Get Real. CVC, or Church Village Collective in full (named after their hometown in Wales), are a six-piece chamber psych outfit featuring Francesco Orsi (vocals), Ben Thorne (bass), David Bassey (guitar, vocals), Elliot Bradfield (guitar, vocals), Daniel ‘Nanial’ Jones (keys) and Tom Fry (drums). The twelve songs here (two already known from last year’s Real To Reel EP) are sunny, luscious and rousing, and sound as amazing and colorful as the band members look.

Get Real is streaming now and will also be available on cassette, CD and vinyl LP through CVC Recordings. Also available – exclusively from Rough Trade Shops – is a CD EP with four bonus tracks featuring CVC playing live cover versions as The RagTag Wedding Band, partying with AC/DC’s It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock n’ Roll).

Add to wantlist: CVC || Discogs || Rough Trade

New album: Légumes Sex || LPette

Montreuil is located at the Opal Coast of France, South of Calais. It’s a popular tourist destination, but I hope that it also comes to be known as the birth place of quality and fun garage punkpop’n’roll. That would be thanks to Légumes Sex aka the duo of Lola Q (drums) and Érico Sec (guitar). Both members share vocal duties and excel in writing short and pointy garagepop nuggets. Kinda like The Exbats but rougher around the edges, particularly in the songs where Lola Q is the primary singer. Q’s singing is full of attitude and sandpaper and it fits the directness of the music very well.

LPette appears to be the band’s official debut full length, but early versions of most of the songs on LPette can be found also on last year’s Casse-Tape 60. The band re-recorded the songs last Summer to significant improvement. LPette est un disque très amusant!

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

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