Covers 1: THE PLAYLIST / KNITSONIK on Mixcloud

a roll of music box versions of songs, with a knitted shawl featuring those same songs in the background

Further to my conversation with Kate Davies about Cover Versions, I’ve put together a mix/playlist of cover songs.

I love Mixcloud and you’ll find several KNITSONIK mixes there, made over the years. There’s a mix celebrating Sarina Mantle’s beautiful Women + Patterns + Plants colouring book; a mix that is a sonic homage to the Balance for Better Blanket produced in collaboration with KDD&Co. for International Women’s Day; a mix I produced especially to accompany an essay I wrote for PomPom’s Rhythm issue; and several mixes that speak to different themes and musical contexts explored as part of Yarnadelic Remixes 0.1 – including today’s Covers 1 Mix.

I love using Mixcloud to share playlists for the following reasons:

  • Everyone can hear playlists shared this way. Not everyone uses Spotify or Apple Music; you don’t need to have Mixcloud to hear theses mixes (but you can download the app if you’d like to listen on your phone).
  • Having looked at all the options, this seems like the best way to compensate musicians for their amazing work. Musicians are really poorly paid per-play via popular streaming services: I prefer to buy music directly from them via Bandcamp (like Ravelry for music publishing) and then to share their music on Mixcloud, which additionally pays royalties to artists.
  • Finally and perhaps the most important reason: not all the music I want to share can be found on popular streaming platforms! However, I have found many treasures on Bandcamp and love to share them with you via these mixes.

All that said, let’s jump to the Track list for COVERS 1 – which consists entirely of cover versions of songs.

These cover versions are all included for different reasons, but they are all here because they represent a transformative and creative reinterpretation of an original song recording. Powerful arrangements for string quartet and brass band transform dance and electronic classics; tribute albums enable artists to celebrate their recording heroes; several Beatles’ covers show the reciprocal relationships established by The Beatles with the Motown artists whose sound had influenced them; while some projects such as tribute versions of Fela Kuti’s music (Red Hot Fela) and Portishead’s release of SOS by ABBA use cover versions to celebrate the original recording artist and as fundraisers (in these cases for Red Hot, an AIDS-awareness charity, and Mind, for Mental Health); finally, the gleefully irreverent Shittyflute rendition of TOTO’s Africa drowns its weird Imperialist overtones in a sea of off-key kazoo and recorder blurts that never fail to crack me up laughing. My poor husband Mark hates the sound of Kazoo and off-key recorder playing, but I confess that it is one of my favourite things because it is messy and silly and joyous, and a reminder to have fun – even while I take music pretty seriously.

If you get a chance to listen, let me know what you think!
Yours in the transformative power of the cover version,


1 Hannah Peel
Palace (Wild Beasts)

2 PS22 Choir
Running Up That Hill (Kate Bush)

3 Dezron Douglas & Brandee Harper
This Woman’s Work (Kate Bush)

4 Nouvelle Vague
A Forest (The Cure)

5 Dorothy Ashby
Canto De Ossanha (Baden Powell)

6 Rodrigo y Gabriela
Weird Fishes/Arpeggi (Radiohead)

7 Syreeta
She’s Leaving Home (The Beatles)

8 Eyedress
Song 2 (Blur)

9 Ibibio Sound Machine
Heroes (David Bowie)

10 Schneider TM & Kptmichigan
The Light 3000 (The Smiths)

11 Gender Infinity
Highlife Time (Fela Kuti)

12 Stevie Wonder
We Can Work It Out (The Beatles)

13 The Supremes
A World Without Love (The Beatles)

14 Dean & Britta
Friday I’m In Love (The Cure)

15 The Williams Fairey Brass Band
Strings Of Life (Derrick May/Rhythim Is Rhythim)

16 Otis Redding
Try A Little Tenderness (The Ray Noble Orchestra)

17 Misty Dixon (Jane Weaver)
The Beautiful Ones (Prince)

18 Lamya
Pink Moon (Nick Drake)

19 Isaac Hayes
By The Time I Get To Phoenix (Johnny Rivers)

20 Nuyorican Soul Feat. Jocelyn Brown
I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun (Rotary Connection)

21 Superhuman Happiness w/ Sahr Ngaujah, Abena Koomson + Rubblebucket
I.T.T. (Fela Kuti)

22 The Williams Fairey Brass Band
What Time Is Love? (The KLF)

23 Balanescu Quartet
Computer Love (Kraftwerk)

24 Kyp Malone and Tunde Adebimpe, Kronos Quartet + Stuart Bogie
Sorrow Tears and Blood (Fela Kuti)

25 Odetta
Masters Of War (Bob Dylan)

26 Portishead

27 William Fitzsimmons
Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want (The Smiths)

28 Valerie June
Into My Arms (Nick Cave)

29 Julia Holter
Gold Dust Woman (Fleetwood Mac)

30 Annie Hamilton
Alright (Supergrass)

31 Shittyflute
Africa (Toto)

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