Cover songs in 2021

We’re rounding up the year by looking back at a range of cover songs released in 2021. Check it out, you might find some new favourites (old or new!)

iDKHOW: Boys Don’t Cry (The Cure)
Janet Devlin: Your Song (Elton John)
Dylan LeBlanc: Gentle On My Mind (Glen Campbell)
Bearings: Golden (Harry Styles)
Spanish Love Songs: I Miss You (Blink-182)
MNYS: It’s Almost Halloween (Panic! At The Disco)
Theo Tams: Say My Name (Destiny’s Child)
Like A Motorcycle: 122 Hours of Fear (The Screamers)
Alex Melton with State Champs’ Ryan Scott Graham: Something Like That (Tim McGraw)
Four Year Strong: Bitter Sweet Symphony (The Verve)
Phoebe Bridgers: That Funny Feeling (Bo Burnham)

iDKHOW: Boys Don’t Cry (The Cure)

I Don’t Know How But They Found Me (iDKHOW) released a deluxe version of their debut album Razzmatazz. It has seven new songs, including this slowed-down but still faithful cover of The Cure’s Boys Don’t Cry.

Janet Devlin: Your Song (Elton John)

10 years ago, the course of 17-year-old Janet Devlin’s life changed when she auditioned for X Factor with a distinctive rendition of Elton John’s Your Song. Now, she’s finally releasing a version of it: “the label wanted me to release this as my first single. However, I wanted to write my own music and earn my place in the industry. I made a promise to myself that if I were still in this business 10 years on then I would release it….and here we are!” The re-recorded track and other cover songs, like Prince’s Kiss, will feature on her new EP, It’s Not That Deep, due out in December 2021.

Dylan LeBlanc: Gentle On My Mind (Glen Campbell)

Dylan LeBlanc released Pastimes, an EP of cover songs of artists who inspired his sounds. It was recorded at Fame Recording Studios in Muscle Shoals, live and with as few takes as possible.

LeBlanc reflected on why he chose to cover Gentle On My Mind by Glen Campbell: “I come from a heavy country music background. My father made his living as a writer for the Nashville machine growing up. My grandfather in the early 70’s in his early thirties was convinced to make payments on a Gibson guitar on consignment at the local music store along with a song book with the scales and chords and hit songs of the era inside with directions on how to play them. He loved this song and it was heavily played around the house and passed and sang at gatherings and parties where everyone was drinking and laughing and feeling no pain, as they say.”

Bearings: Golden (Harry Styles)

Canadian band Bearings included Golden on the deluxe version of their album, Hello, It’s You. Vocalist and guitarist Ryan Culligan explained: “We’ve been massive fans of Harry Styles for a long time now and have always wanted to do a proper cover. When the idea came up it was a no brainer.”

Spanish Love Songs: I Miss You (Blink-182)

Spanish Love Songs dropped a ‘doom and gloom’ cover of I Miss You. Vocalist and guitarist Dylan Slocum explained: “Blink-182 has always been one of the bands of our lives — half of us learned to play our instruments by jamming to their songs. I covered I Miss You on a live stream last Halloween. The response was amazing, and a few people asked for a full band version. The original is so iconic that we didn’t want to attempt to recreate it — the world doesn’t need another Blink impersonation. So instead, we gave it a shot, and just tried to blow the whole song up.”

The band also released a cover of Death Cab For Cutie’s Blacking Out The Friction in 2021.

MNYS: It’s Almost Halloween (Panic! At The Disco)

After years as a songwriter, Nick Cozine a.k.a. MNYS is now just as prolific as a performer in his own right. So, he let someone else take over the writing reigns when he dropped a cover of Panic! At The Disco’s seasonal fan favourite: “The scene kids who grew up on Panic! welcome the spooky season every year on October 1st with this classic and I’m so stoked to have this out. I got to dress up in my living room with my dog to make a ridiculous video.”

His latest single, Sad Times, is out now.

Theo Tams: Say My Name (Destiny’s Child)

Canadian artist Theo Tams decided to add a Say My Name cover to his upcoming Trilogy III EP. He explained: “it flips the script on the traditional cheating narrative. In a way, this classic Destiny’s Child track is saying ‘I know it’s happening, stop playing games – at least own it.’ I decided to bring a bit of a male perspective to this performance and have it hit a little harder with more grit and dirt on the production.”

Like A Motorcycle: 122 Hours of Fear (The Screamers)

Like A Motorcycle explained that they connected with “a song outlining the hijacking of Lufthansa Flight 181 in 1977 from the point of view of a hostage. It’s by ‘70s L.A. punk band The Screamers and there’s something about the line “am I disturbing you?!” that managed to really burrow its way inside of our collective minds.

“We experimented with electronic sounds to dramatically alter the atmosphere. To lend itself to the mounting tension, we split our cover into a bit of a diptych – taking the first half and drastically dropping the BPM until it crescendos to the intensity and speed of the original track.”

Alex Melton with State Champs’ Ryan Scott Graham: Something Like That (Tim McGraw)

Alex Melton loves to rearrange covers to match his favourite genres. He specialises in making punk songs sound country and turning other songs pop punk. That explains why he released two covers at once; a countryfied cover of Secrets by State Champs, and this pop punk cover of Tim McGraw’s Something Like That, featuring Ryan Scott Graham of State Champs!!

Four Year Strong: Bitter Sweet Symphony (The Verve)

Dan O’Conner of New England rockers Four Year Strong explained “We’ve always loved the song Bitter Sweet Symphony, it hold a lot of nostalgia for me. Makes me think of being 12 thinking I was cool, which I was not. Everything about the song is great, the melody, the hook, the beat, and the string part. They all live rent free in my brain.”

Phoebe Bridgers: That Funny Feeling (Bo Burnham)

Phoebe Bridgers released a cover of Bo Burnham’s That Funny Feeling exclusively via Bandcamp. All proceeds from the sale of the track, including Bo Burnham’s publishing, will go to Texas Abortion Funds.

To catch up on more releases you may have missed, check out our recap of Australian music in 2021.

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