punk goes, kacey musgraves, lil nas x, olivia rodrigo, the weeknd
[Photos by: Kacey Musgraves/YouTube, Lil Nas X/Spotify, Olivia Rodrigo/Spotify, The Weeknd/YouTube]

If you grew up as a scene kid, you know that Punk Goes Pop: Volumes 1-7 via Fearless Records is the one thing that connects you to the mainstream.

With great music coming out, including record-breaking songs and artists, we decided we would throw a couple of ideas into the ring as to which songs should be covered for the next round of Punk Goes…

Read more: Here’s what Lil Nas X would sound like in an emo band

Here are 10 songs that we hope alt bands choose to rework into their own style.

“drivers license” – Olivia Rodrigo

Olivia Rodrigo first came into the spotlight with her breakout acting role on Disney Plus‘ original series High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. Now, she’s a household name with her chart-topping debut single about young heartbreak, “drivers license.” Its delicate, stripped-back nature related to many young people who also feel a similar sense of loneliness, and it trended on TikTok within days of its release. We believe that this could be a great choice for Punk Goes… because we’ve already caught glimpses of punks remaking it to fit their style. One standout cover we’ve seen comes from House Parties lead vocalist Chaney Elaine.

“Blinding Lights” – The Weeknd

The Weeknd is an absolute icon, and we got to see some of his most popular songs come to life for the Super Bowl LV, becoming a meme almost immediately, of course. On Punk Goes Pop, Vol. 7, the Amity Affliction covered one of the singer’s Billboard hits, “Can’t Feel My Face,” with perfect precision. Now that years have passed and the Weeknd has grown even more popular, it’s time to cover his most popular song to date: “Blinding Lights.” It won’t make up for his Grammy 2021 snub, but a cover can never hurt.

“Say So” – Doja Cat

Even if you’re not a frequent radio listener, chances are you’ve heard this banger of a song from Doja Cat that seemingly never gets old. The artist has already proved that “Say So” can easily be translated into a rock ‘n’ roll ballad when she performed it for the 2020 MTV EMAs, with nods to horror cult classic The Ring. We want to see if anyone can take this a step further and make the track fully hardcore. Just imagine Oceano screaming, “Didn’t even notice” while doing the “Say So” TikTok dance.

“Golden” – Harry Styles

Harry Styles is one of the hottest names in music, and his new album Fine Line is absolutely crushing it around the world. Any Styles song would be a good choice to reimagine, as his charismatic approach and dreamy lyrics fit any rock rendition. Punk Goes Pop, Vol. 5 (Japanese Edition) covered One Direction‘s “Live While We’re Young” via Japan-based band LOST. It’s time to show the world that Styles has come a long way from his boy band origins with a cover of “Golden.” Imagine those backing vocals with a rock voice.

“Old Town Road” – Lil Nas X

Whether you love or hate it, you know every single word to Lil Nas X‘s “Old Town Road.” Say what you will, but this song was a trailblazer for effortlessly combining rap and country, even angering people who thought it couldn’t be done. It would be awesome to see an alt band take this highly meme-able song and get in touch with their cowboy side by covering this chart-topper. Plus, the Billy Ray Cyrus remix could lend itself to a great emo crossover.

“How You Like That” – BLACKPINK

This TikTok viral sensation from K-pop superstars BLACKPINK already rocks, so a scene cover would put it over the top. With a little bit of neon pop-punk flair, many bands could bring justice to this cover. Bonus points if they can coordinate choreographed dance sequences with their cover as well.

“Lover” – Taylor Swift

Sure, Taylor Swift was covered before with “You Belong With Me,” but she’s evolved so much within that span of time. Now she’s a certified pop genius now who’s broken several records. All in all, a cover of this song on Punk Goes… would lend us a new emo love song to listen to for special occasions, anniversaries, etc.

“Lonely” – Justin Bieber and benny blanco

Justin Bieber bared his soul in this 2020 track with the help of benny blanco. Not only is this story relatable for many young artists, but it’s one that deserves to be shared over and over via covers, articles and more so listeners, major media entities and others understand that celebrities are still just human. If you boil it down, “Lonely” has incredibly emo lyrics and would work well with any style, whether that’s emo, rock, indie-alternative, metal and so on.

“Sunflower” – Post Malone and Swae Lee

Post Malone is adored across the music spectrum for his clever genre-bending, catchy choruses and his relatable love for Olive Garden. One of his most popular songs to date, “Sunflower” featuring Swae Lee, appeared in Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. Emo and rock listeners who are fans of Marvel may enjoy hearing a new version of this chart-topper. In fact, it just makes sense to cover this song, as it was the fourth most successful digital single in 2019, according to the IFPI.

“Rainbow” – Kacey Musgraves

Kacey Musgraves revolutionized how we perceive country music and blended glowing pop sounds with the genre. She won Grammys for both Country Album and Album Of The Year in 2019. With such high honors and classic singles such as “Rainbow” and “Slow Burn,” it only makes sense that a rock or metal band would take the reins and reimagine Musgraves’ well-loved songs. Country and alternative do go well together, as proved by Orville Peck in issue 390.