Great Indie Cover Songs, Vol. IX: The Black Keys, The Golden Bloom, Ruby Isle, Shearwater, Franz Ferdinand, Nada Surf

On their awesome 2004 album, 'Rubber Factory,' The Black Keys covered The Kinks' "Act Nice & Gentle"

We absolutely love cover songs. It’s probably because, most of the time, they are like something that is familiar but new, which is an interesting dichotomy in and of itself. Plus, recording cover songs can be a risky venture for almost any artist; the more well-known and beloved the original song, the more scrutinized any cover song will be. On the most part, at least in our experience, most cover songs just do not work, and others are absolutely dreadful. But there are others that stick out.

We have two different types of cover songs playlist mixtapes that we’ve been posting for years. We’ve put together playlists of classic cover songs, but mostly new, and lesser known, cover songs.  This installment includes cover songs (except for music fanatics, of course) by The Black Keys, The Golden Bloom, The Laureates, My Jerusalem, The Afghan Whigs, Sun Kil Moon, Nada Surf, Guards and others.

Note: Many covers were not officially released, and therefore, we don’t have an album link to offer, but where they’re available, we have, including the album links for the originals as well. Enjoy.

“Act Nice and Gentle” (The Kinks) – The Black Keys from Rubber Factory (2004)

The original: “Act Nice and Gentle” (Mono take) – The Kinks from Something Else (1968)

“Rake Song” (The Decemberists) – Ruby Isle

“30 Lives” (Motion Sick) – The Golden Bloom from 30 Lives/Doomsday Devices (2010)

The rather little known band, The Motion Sick, are covered by indie musician, The Golden Bloom

The original: “30 Lives”Motion Sick from The Truth Will Catch You, Just Wait… (2008)

“Baby’s On Fire” (Brian Eno) – Shearwater from unreleased single (circa 2008)

“You Got Lucky” (Tom Petty) – Setting Sun from single release (2009)

“Call Me (Blondie)”Franz Ferdinand from War Child – Heroes Vol.1 [+Digital Booklet] (2010)

The original: “Call Me”Blondie from Best of Blondie (1983)

“Kaleidoscope World” (The Chills) – People Press Play from Not Given Lightly – A Tribute To the Giant Golden Book Of New Zealand`s Alternative Music Scene (2009)

“66” (The Afghan Whigs) – My Jerusalem

The original: “66” – The Afghan Whigs from 1965 (1998)

“Where Is My Mind” (The Pixies) – Nada Surf from Where Is My Mind: A Tribute to the Pixies (2007)


The original: “Where Is My Mind”The Pixies from Surfer Rosa

“Can’t Stand It” (Velvet Underground) – The Laureates from unreleased single (1999)

“Never Ending Math Equation” (Modest Mouse) – Sun Kil Moon


“King of Carrot Flowers, Part One” (Neutral Milk Hotel) – Neutral Uke Hotel

The original: “King of Carrot Flowers, Part One”Neutral Milk Hotel from In the Aeroplane Over the Sea (1998)

“Taxi Cab” (Vampire Weekend) – Guards

“I’m on Fire” (Bruce Springsteen) – The Morning Birds

Want more cover songs? Browse through the Cover Songs archives.

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  1. The Black Keys could cover anything and it would be great, but not even Nada Surf can do The Pixies original song justice…they were just to unique.

  2. While we are on the subject – I’m in UAE at the moment – and I can’t buy any digital albums – iTunes / Amazon – all send me apologies, tough cookies you can’t purchase from there… but, I digress – thank you for the covers from another cover lover.

  3. The My Jerusalem cover is available on Summer’s Kiss: A Tribute to the Afghan Whigs at the link below and at

    1. Can’t imagine why The Black Keys wouldn’t be available in Indonesia – do you mean you can’t even by their albums online in Indonesia?

      Best, IRC

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