Triple J’s Like a Version is an Australian radio show that each week invites a different artist onto the show to play two live songs: one of their own, and a cover of their choosing. Featuring artists from Glass Animals to Bon Iver to Mumford and Sons, Triple J has amassed an impressive collection of top artists across genres covering their favorite well known songs. With the live videos of the performances on their YouTube channel, they’ve also released quite a few of the covers on Spotify. I highly recommend checking them out, and here are a few of my favorite covers that you can find on Spotify:
“Read my Mind” – Catfish and the Bottlemen
A fairly well known cover at this point, this is the song that made me first discover Triple J. An acoustic take on the original by The Killer’s, the break in the middle of the song when the band messes up is heartwarming – not so sure I can say the same about their decision to include a snippet of R. Kelly’s “Ignition” at the end, but I’m a big fan of the first three minutes and thirty seconds.
“Back to Black” – Boy & Bear
Boy & Bear is an Australian indie folk band, and has been featured numerous times on the show. Their cover of Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black” is excellent, especially the guitar riff towards the end.
“West Coast” – James Vincent McMorrow
My favorite cover to come out of Like a Version, James Vincent McMorrow takes Lana del Ray’s “West Coast” in a gentler direction, replacing Lana’s more upbeat track with gentle piano chords and the vocals with his characteristic rawness. JVMcM (has a certain ring to it)’s voice captures just enough melancholy to make it a great addition to the rainy St Andrews beach walk playlist.
“Hey, Ma” – The Vanns
One of my favorite Bon Iver songs, the Vann’s version of “Hey, Ma” is a more upbeat take on the original. Heavily interspersed with electric guitar, it reminds me on some level of a more stripped back version of Coldplay’s “Fix You.”
“1901” – Petit Biscuit
French pop band Phoenix first released “1901” in 2009 and it’s become a staple of high school parties and CW shows ever since. While I do have a soft spot for the original, Petit Biscuit’s 2017 cover takes the same exultant euphoria and slows it down slightly, adding a level of deeper bass. Great song for those 2:00am drives with friends.
“My Boo” – Flume and Vince Staples
I actually discovered this while writing this article, and have been forcing my flatmates to listen to it on repeat for the past few days. A cover of the much beloved 1995 RnB classic by Ghost Town DJ’s, Flume and Vince Staples remixed the song live during the show in 2016. Overall just a fun song, I highly recommend giving it a listen.