It's been a cracking year when it comes to bands playing other people's songs. From worldwide smashes to melancholy overloads, there's been a bit of everything. So we rooted around and pulled out the best of the best.
WHOHURTYOU – 'THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY'
For Jack Barakat and Kevin Fisher 2019 has been a year of recovery and revitalization. With the release of ‘Stages’, their debut EP of heartbreak and subsequent healing anthems, under the WhoHurtYou moniker spicing things up, they supplied a little cherry on top in the form of this tear stained version of Katy Perry’s breakup opus. The definition of “WE’RE NOT CRYING, YOU’RE CRYING”.
OUR LAST NIGHT – 'OLD TOWN ROAD'
If there was one song that will define 2019 above any other, it’s got to be Lil Nas X’s homage to the cowboy lifestyle. Seriously, you couldn’t escape it. Well it was only right that Our Last Night were ready to put their own spin on the track, as they can always be depended on for, and we can tell you for free that it hits harder than when you stand behind a horse and it gets spooked.
NEW FOUND GLORY – 'THE POWER OF LOVE'
New Found Glory were very busy this year. In between their usual bouts of tireless touring they found the time to record an album of covers AND make a music video for each of them. It served as a timely reminder to us all to not take everything so serious all the time and if you get the urge to dress up as Shrek and belt it around a park for a bit then you should just do it. Anyway the pic of the bunch was definitely this Huey Lewis & The News cut taken straight from Back To The Future.
THE WONDER YARS – 'LOSING MY RELIGION'
R.E.M’s original version of this 90’s classic displays little glimmers of hope at the end of the tunnel. This version by The Wonder Years makes sure that those glimmers are all but erased as it wallows in its own misery and dank atmosphere. Hypnotically beautiful and utterly distraught, why would you really want it any other way?
TWENTY ONE PILOTS & POST MALONE – 'DON’T LOOK BACK IN ANGER'
When the stars align and something just feels right, then magic truly is possible. In this case of magic it was Tyler Joseph, Josh Dun and Austin Post taking on an Oasis classic on the main stage at this year’s Leeds Festival. Those goosebumps you’re feeling cost no extra.
REAL FRIENDS – 'DUALITY'
When we asked Real Friends if they wanted to be a part of ‘Worship and Tributes: Version II’ we had no idea that they would come back with this raging curve ball. Vicious, vibrant and violent in all the same ways as the original, with some absolutely cracking baseball bat on tin can action, it’s the sort of surprise that we thrive on. Hey pop-punk bands, cover more metal yeah? Cheers, see you later.
THE MAINE – 'WITHOUT ME'
Do you remember at the start of the year when The Maine were on the cover of Rock Sound? Do you remember that they also recorded a really special live EP at the Orpheum theatre just for us as well? That was great wasn’t it? Anyway, aside from the beautiful renditions of album tracks from our Album Of The Year ‘You Are Ok’ that they put together, they also pulled off a gorgeous version of this beauty pop banger from Halsey.
HOLDING ABSENCE – T-SHIRT SONG
How do you take one of the biggest anthems on Don Broco’s brilliant ‘Technology’ and turn it into a heart-shattering sad jam? Well you plonk Lucas Woodland in front of a piano and let him croon away. The result burns slowly and cleanses the soul perfectly. Not an easy task.
TRASH BOAT- 'GIVEN UP'
Appearing on the second addition of Hopeless Records’ ‘Songs That Saved My Life’ Trash Boat really pulled up their heavy socks here. Letting rip like their lives depend on it, Tobi Duncan channels Chester Bennington’s frustrations to a tee and makes this angst-ridden epic more timeless than it already was. Well done all round.
GERARD WAY – 'HAPPY TOGETHER'
Let alone creating the whole of the Umbrella Academy universe AND earning himself a producer credit on the Netflix adaptation, Gerard couldn’t resist not sticking some music in as well. The best of the two (the other being a version of ‘Hazy Shade Of Winter') is this pitch perfect rendition of a classic by The Bangles.
PANIC! AT THE DISCO – 'INTO THE UNKNOWN'
After another massive year for Brendon & Co, it’s only right it finishes on a high as well. Though it’s not often that that high is recording a version of a song from one of the year’s most anticipated movies. Yet here we are, with Brendon adding an extra layer of gorgeous melody and showmanship to one of Elsa’s big moments. Shivers.
MARK HOPPUS – 'JUST WHAT I NEEDED'
Mark Hoppus isn’t the only person to take on this classic from The Cars in 2019. Seaway also put their own personal spin on it. Yet the way that Hoppus takes this rather upbeat number and completely transforms it into something much more sullen and downtrodden is nothing short of a masterstroke. Enjoy the darkness.
YUNGBLUD – 'SENORITA'/ 'BACK TO BLACK'/ 'GOOSEBUMPS'
In this case ambitious is spelt D-O-M. Not content with tackling just the one hit song, Yungblud stepped into the Radio 1 Live Lounge with a full string quartet and intent to intertwine 3 separate tunes into one single thread of sultry brilliance. A new Bond film is coming out next year, get this lad on that soundtrack we reckon.
I DON’T HOW BUT THEY FOUND ME – 'MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY'
It’s a latecomer and very seasonal but IDK really captured the spirit of the season on this version of a classic Christmas jam. Taking the blueprint of the original by Slade and injecting it with even more twee joyfulness, it’s a powerful ointment for melting away of any lingering hints of humbug that may still be living inside of you.
WITH CONFIDENCE – 'DROPS OF JUPITER'
Another track taken from the ‘Songs That Saved My Life’, this is an emotional one. Train’s tale of love, loss and the best soy latte you’ve ever had hits the heartstrings in a very specific way, and With Con capture that energy and run with it on this version. It’s a brilliantly tender tribute to a brilliantly tender song.