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Covered songs in 2020

There have been an extraordinary number of cover songs done in 2020. With artists all over the world in quarantine for much of this year, they turned to some favorite songs and artists to touch on and put their personal spins on. Whether it was a planned All-Star tribute record produced by Hal Willner called Angelheaded Hipster: The Songs of Marc Bolan & T. Rex. Devon Gilfillian taking on Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On, or Australian musician Emma Swift showing her love of Bob Dylan.

It’s been a year of benefit singles, EP’s, home studio recordings, facebook concerts, and live albums with unique takes on familiar classics.

Here are a few that were Covered in 2020

One of the more interesting cover projects that a new artist took on this year, was the home recording that Amber Mark did, completely recreating Nirvana’s Heart-Shaped Box.

Karen O and Willie Nelson celebrated the anniversary of the iconic David Bowie and Queen Classic, Under Pressure. Which might be my favorite of 2020.

I discovered a new artist this year, Australian singer-songwriter Emma Swift. She masterfully covers Bob Dylan on the album “Blonde on the Tracks”: a reimagining of Bob Dylan songs and reminds me of early Neko Case with her delivery. The short film for the cover is really well done.

Molly Tuttle is folk, country, and banjo player that grew up in a musical family. She had released two records prior to her lockdown recorded album of covers titled, “But I’d Rather Be With You.” Her take on Rancid’s Olympia, WA definitely struck a chord with WYEP listeners. Nice to see a musician step outside of their own genre and comfort zone and put a new twist on a punk classic.

One cover that was just recently released as a single will be part of a tribute album out in January of 2021. Steve Earle & The Dukes pay tribute to Steve’s late son, Justin. It’s on the album simply called “JT.” Here’s Harlen River Blues.

Here’s a Spotify playlist with some other notable covers in 2020:

Music Director Kyle Smith found his way to Pittsburgh via Burlington, Vermont in 1998. Smith’s career in radio has spanned over 30 years and numerous genres, including news and sports. He found his home in the AAA format at Alternative Rev105 in Minneapolis.