2021 recovery: The year in synthpop cover songs

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My 2021 end-of-year coverage is underway. I’ve already shared my interview with the best new synthpop band of 2021, Cold Connection. Still to come, I’ll be counting down my favorite videos, songs, and albums of the year.

Around this time last year, I posted a collection of 2020 cover songs by synthpop artists. It was a big year for covers, perhaps because bands were bored in lockdown and looking for inspiration. I liked doing that so much—who doesn’t love cover songs?—that I’ve decided to do it again this year.

I’m sure there are many more I’ve missed, but here are 25 cover songs released this year that stood out to me for their artistry or their off-the-wall collision of two wildly different performers. Note that these aren’t ranked; rather, they are in alphabetical order by artists’ names.

AGNIS – “Frozen” (original song by Madonna)

AL1CE – “Swamp Thing” (original song by The Chameleons)

Annie – “Just Like Honey” (original song by The Jesus and Mary Chain)

Ashbury Heights – “Howling” (original song by Babel)

Auger – “Blinding Lights” (original song by The Weeknd)

Bara Hari – “Back to Black” (original song by Amy Winehouse)

The Birthday Massacre – “The NeverEnding Story” (original song by Limahl)

BLACKBOOK – “Seven Nation Army” (original song by The White Stripes)

BlakLight – “Effigy (I’m Not An)” (original song by Ministry)

Blind Passenger – “Don’t Go” (original song by Yazoo)

Blutengel – “Nobody’s Diary” (original song by Yazoo)

CHVRCHES – “Cry Little Sister” (original song by Gerard McMahon)

Frozen Plasma – “Mad Desire” (original song by Den Harrow)

Glass Apple Bonzai – “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” (original song by Simple Minds)

Grendel – “Children” (original song by Robert Miles)

IIOIOIOII – “Worlock” (original song by Skinny Puppy)

Leæther Strip – “I Sit on Acid” (original song by Lords of Acid)

Leæther Strip feat. Red Lokust and Tragic Impulse – “After the Flesh” (original song by My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult)

Mind Machine – “Living In Oblivion” (original song by Anything Box)

NITE – “Would?” (original song by Alice in Chains)

Null Device – “Red Right Hand” (original song by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds)

Provision – “The Great Commandment” (original song by Camouflage)

The Saint Paul – “Get the Balance Right” (original song by Depeche Mode)

TOAL – “Silence” (original song by Delerium feat. Sarah McLachlan)

Whorticulture – “Crucify” (original song by Tori Amos)

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