10 Best Indie Cover Songs

The list of the best indie cover songs could easily be made a mile long. Indie bands can always be counted on to deliver sly covers of hits from the mainstream. Some songs are surprisingly faithful to the original material, while others bring a new element to a familiar tune. These are ten of the best indie cover songs:

  1. "Mrs. Robinson" Pomplamoose No list of indie cover songs would be complete without Pomplamoose, who have made a name for themselves with their self-produced videos. They do a number of covers of artists ranging from Lady Gaga to Edith Piaf, but this Simon and Garfunkle cover is one of their best.
  2. "If You Leave" Nada Surf This cover somehow manages to be more plaintive and sad than the original by OMD. Listen and feel the injustice of Molly Ringwald picking the rich snob over loyal Duckie all over again.
  3. "Creep" Richard Cheese This lounge crooner specializes in cover songs, the more unexpected, the better. This indie cover of another indie band (Radiohead) is a jolly send-up of the original, substituting a whistle solo for the anguished cry near the end.
  4. "Always on My Mind" Electronic Techno-pop covers of country? Why not? This take on a song that has been sung by Willie Nelson, Elvis Presley and others gets a sardonic, modern twist by the English pop band.
  5. "Take it as it Comes" Ramones This frenetic indie cover of The Doors is one of many times that The Ramones did their own versions of their favorite bands' music and it's also one of the best.
  6. "Making Believe" Social Distortion Very few people realize that Dolly Parton may be the author of their favorite songs. She's been covered by everyone from Whitney Houston to The White Stripes. Country fans Social Distortion presented one of the earlier indie covers of her music when they did their version of "Making Believe."
  7. "Since You Been Gone" Ted Leo This acoustic guitar version of the Kelly Clarkson song brings a melancholy feel to the bouncy break up song. It's an unexpected change of pace from the original.
  8. "Under Pressure" The Flaming Lips Simultaneously driving and dreamy, the Flaming Lips's cover of this Queen song is also faithful to the original. This cover makes a great song for long driving trips.
  9. "Hit Me Baby One More Time" Travis It isn't until you hear this Britney Spears song sung by a man accompanied by an acoustic guitar that you hear the song as a painful account of romantic and sexual obsession with someone who probably is no good for you. For once, hipster irony works.
  10. "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" David Byrne The art rocker delivers a winking version of the Whitney Houston pop song with catchy drum beats and gorgeous vocal harmonies. This is a great one for parties.
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