Friday’s are perfect days to get your weekend attitude on, and what better way than to listen to one of the ATH faves Melenas (not to be confused with Melons) cover the 80s hit from Swiss outfit Grauzone, “Eisbaer.” They’ve retitled the tune, giving the bear a female perspective, one that prefers living in the isolation of the Arctic where intruders aren’t allowed. The mood between the cover and the original is definitely similar, though I feel like there’s more warmth in the Melenas version; the industrial sterility of the original seems to have been given a nice softening of the textures. If this isn’t getting you ready to dance yourself into Friday night, then I don’t know what will. This tune’s brought to us courtesy of Trouble in Mind Records.
Last year Rules released their self-titled album, which was an undeniable surprise hit for me, compiling joyous electric pop sounds and hyper literary references into gem after gem. Today, they’re back with their first new music since the album, an enthusiastic electro cover of Weezer’s “Say It Ain’t So!” They keep the hooks, so don’t worry that by stripping the song of guitars that you’ll lose something; they stretch it instead with heavy synth work and booming voices! Plus, you get a sense of the band in their natural habitat, as they roll about for a nice evening with director Pekka Harkonen. The band release this tune with another new single on Friday via Soliti!
I’ve admitted my adoration for Rosie Tucker‘s hit LP Never Not Never Not Never Not, and one of my favorite tracks on the record “Lauren” is getting the cover treatment from fellow Angeleno outfit Cheekface. They keep the core of the song’s infectious pop chorus, but they ramp up the rock side during the verses, giving a touch more punch. The vocal combination in the chorus does a great job of adding in that added layer of melody that pop fans crave. Plus, it gives me another reason to write about a Rosie Tucker jam, and I rarely shy away from that…thus why you can also stream the OG version below.
If you listened to me, as I sincerely think you should, you caught Will Courtney‘s latest release, At Home with Will Courtney and the Wild Bunch. The EP is a collection of Will and his bunch recording their own versions of some of their favorite songs; you can grab it over HERE when you’ve got your wallet ready. Seeing as music never goes away, the band has worked up a really great video for their version of Nick Lowe’s “Cracking Up;” it was shot by the band’s own Travis Garaffa, using stop-motion animation with still footage of the various band members. The band’s version of the song definitely plays up some of the country twang Lowe used in the original, but of course its done so well you might not know if we hadn’t told ya! Enjoy the video and grab the EP!
A Break in the Battle is a relativelyy recent project begun by three musicians from Dallas: Salim Nourallah, Chris Holt, and Paul Averitt; they joined up to pay homage to some of Salim’s favorite songwriters and songs. You might recognize Nick Heyward as the core songwriter of Haircut 100, who then later went on to have a pretty decent solo career; the track being covered comes off 1993’s From Monday to Sunday. In the version below, you get more of an almost elevated rendition, highlighting the pop sensibility rather than the rushed tension of Hayward; I love how this version still holds tight to the emphatic vocal that pops up in both versions around the 2:30 mark. Check out the new version below courtesy of Palo Santo Records…you can also find the OG track HERE.
I’m just going to come out and say this, I had absolutely no idea who Hunters & Collectors were until I heard this No Zu cover, so I’m going to go back and remedy that before this day is up. But, for you, maybe you’re new too, so why not go back in time by visiting one of my current faves, No Zu. This video is live footage, with a recorded version of the song; you can see just how much the band has going on; it’s visually intoxicating in and of itself. Their recording takes the sort of post-punk style, hangs it up and seems to infuse a bit more of a funk aspect and swagger, turning it into an all out dance party you wish we could attend. This track comes out as a digital Double A-Side single, with a cover of “Sensation” by Bryan Ferry also featured…all courtesy of Chapter Music.
The world is a shitshow, so what little solace I can grab I’m taking. Luckily, we can all wrap our work day with this really wonderful Galaxie 500 cover performed by Papercuts. Jason Quever is one of my favorite current artists, covering one of those older acts I still can’t get enough of as a listener. Quever recorded the video during quarantine, but it goes along with the 20 songs 2020 project, which featured other incredible acts like Stephin Merritt, Deadbeat Beat, Winter, Jeanines and so many more; you can find more about that HERE. I love how he keeps the noise in the ending, it’s like the perfect way to cap off this track. The only problem is where do I go from here…to Galaxie 500 or Papercuts? For now, you can have both below!
It’s been really great seeing the Elephant Six Recording Company back in the mix these last few years, as they’ve reached back in their catalog for some great reissues, like that Gerbils LP I hyped last year. Right now, they’re focused on the reissue of the self-titled debut of Circulatory System, a band helmed by Will Cullen Hart of Olivia Tremor Control (with some contributions from Jeff Magnum). That album alone is reason to celebrate, and a key fabric in the E6 quilt of indie rock, but if you act now, you can get a bonus 12″ with this super rare Led Zeppelin cover included, with the flip-side offering a Can cover. I love how Circulatory System plays up some of those pop notes in the track one might overlook if you’re just casually listening to the original, not to mention how they fuzz out the edges and let you get lost in a world that feels entirely of their own creation.
If you read our blog, there are two things you surely know by now: 1) I’m a big fan of Rosie Tucker these last few years; they played our SXSW show, and I’ve tried to hype the music up as much as possible 2) I also am a big fan of Jeffrey Lewis in all his forms (Voltage, solo, Jrams), but even more so his 2003 LP It’s the Ones Who’ve Cracked That the Light Shines Through. Man, long winded run-on, that. So, why do these two things matter? Well, Rosie Tucker covers “Arrow” from said Lewis album, with a lyrical version so you can sing the words. It’s been a live staple for a bit, though I can’t confirm that as life got in the way and I totally forgot when they came to Austin and regrettably did not get a shirt, sized fat-kid. Alas, the song’s are great, both the OG version and this new one, plus it gives us a reason to keep you current on Rosie Tucker and encourage you to keep listening.
I’m not one to typically write about cover songs, unless, of course, it comes via one of my current favorites covering one of my all time favorites. The Softies gave us the writing Jen and Rose, and now they’re being covered by Jetstream Pony. This song will appear on the Kleine Untergrund SchallplattenLabel Compilation, compiling tracks from the label’s very stable roster…both Jetstream and KUS were in our Best of Indiepop list. This version has a slightly noisier bent than the original, though they still include those wondrous harmonies. the rest of the compilation includes other ATH faves like the Pale Lights and the BVs, so grab one HERE.