Classic Covers Done Right

Oh, what a time to be alive. We’ve made it to 2021 and I’m happy you are here. Now pass me a beer, please.

Thinking about what my first article back was kind of a no-brainer. The Ultimate Covers playlist, obviously. With our worlds being turned and curved every way possible, I meditated on how powerful a cover of a classic song could be to some of us. For me, it was hearing Tennis, an indie-pop band from Colorado, redo “Superstar” by The Carpenters in a way I would never expect. They turned an incredibly sappy love song into a light-hearted and funkafied bop that I can’t wait to sing at my local coffee shop…. You’ve been warned Tampa.

Anyways, I decided to dive down the rabbit hole of other covers and showcase my personal favorites, because we all need to hear something comforting and nostalgic with a fresh, new twist to it.

A CLASSIC cover that always needs to be discussed first and foremost is “Big Yellow Taxi” by Counting Crows. We love Joni Mitchell and I vividly recall tap dancing to this cover when I was 8 years old. I thought the idea of paving paradise and putting up a parking lot was so ironic and hilarious. Growing up and into a sweet hippie, I’m now very much aware that Joni is preaching to us about all the environmental problem she had witnessed on a trip to Hawaii and how we should always appreciate the thing we have here on this natural Earth until they disappear. I will give the Bob Dylan version an honorable mention because it is, Bob Dylan.

Devon Gilfillian caught my eye about two years ago when they opened for a Local Natives show in St. Augustine, Florida. Not only did his fantastic taste in the fashion of Bruno Mars meets Prince make me do a double- take but the way this young mans voice took me to such a sweet place, I was floating on a cloud by the time their sweet was up. This past year he fed my soul and delivered us an album of the most sensual Marvin Gaye covers. Talk about a perfect date night in playlist, baby. My personal favorites include Inner City Blues and What’s going on. You did this classics so flawlessly, I’m shaking in my boots for what Devon Gilgillians got up his sleeves next. Keep flyin high, brother.

“Everybody wants to rule the world” by Lettuce should be played at least twice in your lifetime. Maybe twice a year. A celebrated song with a new-age jam sound is what we all need sometimes. And if this is your first time reading about Lettuce.. Take a walk, bike, skate, or dance to this incredible band. They always make me feel like I am ruling my world and looking good doing it. They will be making their debut comeback to the music scene at Suwannee Rising April 8-10 in Live Oak, Florida.

Okay, fine I’ll tell you about my favorite cover of a Beatles song. It’s always been and will be “Dear Prudence” by Jerry Garcia. That man really knows how to make you smile silly listening to a song. That was until this last Halloween, I decided to crown a running up and it goes to the always gracious and groovy, Lake Street Dive and their take of “Don’t Let Me Down.” Phenomenal band and performance. They did it classically on a rooftop dressed like the men, the myths, and the legends themselves. Now please, Rachael releases it on all platforms for us.

The last cover I’ll be discussing is only found on the ancient relics of SoundCloud and YouTube. It is, in fact, “Passionfruit” by Paramore. I about lost my shit and dyed my hair orange when I first heard this. God, I love you lots Hayley Williams. The control she had of her voice in this, the lo-fi beats, EVERYTHING about this cover makes me feel alive. You are allowed to listen to the original by Drake after. It’s cool. This is a safe space.

I’ve attached a Spotify playlist just for you to listen to all the over covers I’ve enjoyed throughout the years. Thanks for reading and jamming. Stay cool and safe out there.

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