Used Somebodies

Kings Of Leon released a new single and video this week and dozens (dozens!) of you lurkers stepped up to discuss it. KoL has become an increasingly hot button act on this site as we’ve witnessed the Followills become a parody of themselves (see: the hipster clothing line, drunken interviews, “Sex On Fire”). But while we scoffed at the band’s royal status in the UK, the lackluster Only By The Night quietly went platinum in the States on the back of the Grammy winning “Use Somebody,” a pretty decent sounding pop/rock single the first three to four hundred times I heard it. Late last summer Hayley Williams performed an inspired, stripped-down version that we never posted because you can go to other sites for Haley Williams news. But boy did she open some miserable floodgates. Herewith, for no other reason than page views lists are fun, are fifteen covers of “Use Somebody” by a surprisingly diverse array of professional recording artists (I’m including American Idol finalists in that definition). Et tu, Matisyahu?


Bat For Lashes

Scala & Kolacny Brothers

Margaret Durante

Laura Jansen (embedding is disabled on the studio version)

Pixie Lott

Tyler Hilton


Brooke White

Kelly Clarkson (starts 3min in)

Lee DeWyze

Trey Songz

Nick Jonas & The Administration



Perhaps this explains why KoL turned down Glee.

So which cover is worst? Remember when that radio DJ lost a bet and had to get a tattoo of Chad Kroeger singing into a penis? I bet he regrets that.

Comments (48)
  1. This list is on fire.

    • Have you heard Wold’s “King Of The Rodeo” remix?

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  2. Wow. 15 covers of a mediocre song from some mainstream modern rock radio band from some of the worst acts in music period? Remind me why the the average Stereogum reader would give a shit?

    • because its funny.

      • Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

        • There’s also a bunch of new Sufjan posts, along with a steady stream of other news, under the stuff with pictures. Was there some huge indie rock story they missed or do you just hate Kings of Leon that much?

        • oh wait didn’t see that thermals covered weezer too nevermind lol…

          seriously sorry to be a dick but i just like this site and want it to keep being cool. any word on when the new margot and the nuclear so and sos album is dropping? that would be quite blogworthy

        • Not to mention any time they cover a more obscure or indie band that isn’t already making millions of dollars, it’s just a vapid endorsement for a band the writers here are buddies with. And then that bands unreleased/unleaked album magically appears in their Heavy Rotation area (See: Sufjan, Marnie Stern, Summer Camp)

        • oh my god, Hole covered Pearl Jam?

    • I give a shit bc I, and a lot of people i can think of, used to really like the Kings and thought they were something pretty special. Now we know they can be happy writing the same sappy ‘im so lonely cause im from the south and i drink too much’ song over and over again. It makes me laugh to see Nick Jonas covering a song from a band that used to sing about whiskey dick and prostitutes.

  3. Tyler Hilton’s version is my fav gives me chills he’s so passionate when he sings and plays the cover :)

  4. The Ultrabeat one is by far the best (worst)

  5. I can’t believe I wasted X minutes of my life watching 6 of these.

  6. ““If I hear one more person cover that song, I’m gonna rip my f***ing throat out” – Caleb Followill.

  7. the worst. what was bat for lashes thinking?

  8. Mediocre songs by far!

    The bat for lashes song had potential… but it was just an illusion.


  9. Anyone else surprised there’s no Creed cover?

  10. wait…where’s Justin Beiber’s cover?

  11. Stay tuned folks! Next week Stereogum will be covering highlights from this year’s MTV Video Music Awards!

  12. Sorry, but EW, this band is the one who made this song?! I kept on hearing it at work on my local awful rock station and it just made me ill.

  13. hahaha of ALL songs, WHY!?!?! just cuz it’s…’easy?’ weird, i mean at least KOL have SOME cred but, jeez, come on losers, theres plenty of other shit to cover…gaww.

  14. 15 covers of “Use Somebody”. That’s 12 more covers than this song has notes.

    Do any of the covers change “Use Somebody” to “Eat A Pigeon”? ‘Cause that’s about the only thing that would make me like a cover of this song.

    Can’t you imagine the dopey fans at that Nickelback concert going … “wha… these guys do this song??”

  15. these covers got me really depressed… why would Natasha Khan fall into the cover kol buzz I don’t know…

  16. You can’t polish a turd.

  17. is the ultrabeat one a joke?

  18. I love how they start out decent (baring Paramore, of course) and get more shitty as they go by. Nickelback was a shocker to a degree. Another thing, what’s with Britain’s obsession with this fucking band? C’mon Natasha, you made “Glass”, you can surely do better than that.

  19. Living in the UK I can tell you the love of the band by people here began with the first two albums for a lot of people I know who appreciate decent, original, non-commercial music. No gaga-ting ting-bullet for my-bs. Then something changed…

    The band seemed to go in a new much more commercial direction and people who had never heard of KoL all of a sudden where their number 1 fans. KoL have now embraced the masses as their true fans leaving the ones that enjoyed there humble beginnings avoiding their gigs and albums like the plagues they are.

  20. WTF is an ultrabeat and how did that happen.

    Their all funny in their own pathetic way of course but wow.

  21. If you play all 15 at once your computer explodes as your ears melt.

  22. The matisyahu cover is hilarious.

  23. I spent the whole first minute of the Ultrabeat video waiting for them to drop some sweet 808s…and then they did. Totally worth it.

  24. This was a great compilation of covers. Some of the earlier commenters complained “Why Kings of Leon?” It’s a good question, and I’d be interested in the answer, but I say “Why not?” I’m sure other blogs have compiled covers of other songs, and this inspired me to go find a few.

    Sort of an aside: I’m getting a little annoyed with all the pop-up ads on YouTube videos. One of these videos actually had two pop-up ads: one at the bottom, in English, and one at the top, in German (!?!). I’m keeping an eye on the emergence of Internet video sites that rely on subscription revenue, such as and FargoTube allows ads on some videos, at the discretion of the band or studio that owns the distribution rights. My guess is that most of them will remove the ads quickly if they sense they’re alienating their fans.

  25. oh, and the Matisyahu video had a pop-up text ad in Chinese. WTF?

  26. lykke li covered “knocked up” on her 2009 us tour

  27. Bat For Lashes wins.

  28. I LOVE THOSE VERSION! I also think this video should be on the list! It’s pretty recent compared to everybody elses.


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