The Five Best Triple J ‘Like A Versions’ Of 2017
Including THE SADDEST COVER OF ALL TIME.
2016 was one of the best years on record for triple j’s ‘Like A Version’.
We had A.B. Original and Paul Kelly reinventing ‘Dumb Things’, we had Camp Cope taking on The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, we had Matt Corby covering Tina Arena’s emotional banger ‘Chains’. And of course, we had one of the best LAV’s ever in DMA’s acoustic rendition of Cher’s ‘Believe’.
Living up to last year was always going to be tough, but 2017’s batch of Like A Version-ers gave it a red hot go. This year contained a heap of great Aussie throwbacks, some sideways punk reinventions — and one extremely, extremely sad song.
We’ve had a look back over the year that was and pulled out the five best covers of the year — get stuck in.
Alex Lahey — Natalie Imbruglia, ‘Torn’
Melbourne’s Alex Lahey delivered one of the best albums of the year with her debut effort I Love You Like A Brother.
For her debut turn on ‘Like A Version’, she took on Australia’s greatest ever pop song — Natalie Imbruglia’s 1997 kiss off sing-a-long ‘Torn’. Turns out, Lahey’s brand of urgent, restless pop rock is the perfect matching for ‘Torn’s emotional fuckery.
Horrorshow — The Whitlams, ‘No Aphrodisiac’
Another big 1997 hit, but this one comes from beloved Sydney mopers The Whitlams.
Fellow inner west crew Horrorshow keep the song’s vital melancholy core, but inject some much-needed dynamics into the originally straight-as-hell backing. It’s also easily the best use of the word ‘asparagus’ in a rap verse.
Props to MC Solo too for editing out the transphobic slur in the spoken word verse at the end of the song — it’s 2017, we don’t need to hear that shit.
Gang Of Youths — Middle East, ‘Blood’
What do you get when you marry one of the saddest songs ever written with a band who’s meal ticket is rock hard emotional gut punches? Why, you get the best ‘Like A Version’ of the year.
Gang Of Youths didn’t deviate much from Middle East’s devastating original, but what they did bring was David Le’aupepe’s tormented, cracking vocals.
There’s not much else to say…except the words “fucking haunting”.
Remi — Sisqó, ‘Thong Song’
Remi took on Sisqó’s 2000 chart-topper ‘Thong Song’ in front of a packed Melbourne Town Hall for triple j’s annual Good Az Friday celebrations. Of course, this being Australia, the Melbourne rapper had to update the ‘thong’ lyrics to be more regionally correct: so these are the thongs you stick on your foot, not your ass.
Extra points for outfits too: Remi looks fly as hell in a ’70s white and beige ensemble, while singer Jace Excell rocks a bloody Goku jumpsuit. Pure ’90s heaven all round.
Gordi — Linkin Park, ‘In The End’
The music world was shaken in late July by the sudden passing of Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington. Tributes from the likes of ‘Numb’ guest Jay-Z flowed in, and closer to home Sydney artist Gordi took on one of LP’s biggest tracks, their Hybrid Theory single ‘In The End’,
“Hybrid Theory was the first record I bought with my own money, and ‘In The End’ was the first song I remember connecting to,” Gordi told Breakfast hosts Ben and Liam. “It’s such a beautiful song and it’s such a tragedy about Chester… he gave the world such a gift, especially for that album.”
Jules LeFevre is Staff Writer for inthemix and Music Junkee. She still can’t get over DMA’s cover of Cher’s ‘Believe’ last year. She is on Twitter.