(Un)Covered: Hand in My Pocket

Alanis Morissette vs Seaway By | September 14, 2016 at 1:00 PM

“Hand in My Pocket”
Writers: Alanis Morissette, Glen Ballard
Original Release Date: October 31, 1995

If you’re looking for the most 90’s song to exist, I’ve got you (un)covered. It’s called “Hand in My Pocket” and it’s by Alanis Morissette.

I don’t know how much airplay Alanis got in the US before the release of her third album, Jagged Little Pill, but for Canadians, she was basically the real life version of Robin Daggers (aka How I Met Your Mother’s Robin Sparkles once she stopped going to the mall and discovered grunge). “Hand in My Pocket” was everywhere for most of the nineties. Most stations censored the “chicken shit” line two minutes in, but it was pretty obvious what she was saying. It’s a song for all moods as she lists her many qualities, both good and bad, and insists that despite these flaws, everything’s going to be fine.  

Pop-punkers Seaway recorded a cover of the classic Alanis tune last year, and I think it’s one of the most Canadian things to exist in our scene. I like how much gruffer they sound compared to Alanis’ soprano, and, without changing a lot, they manage to make the song sound so much more emo than it originally was, with their hook of “everything’s going to be fine, fine, fine” sounding more sarcastic than determined. The dual vocalists give the song more of a back-and-forth feel, rather than a straight-forward narrative, like they’re comparing their flaws and world-views instead of being as introspective as Alanis in the original.

Obviously Alanis Morissette is classic, but I appreciate the heavier drums in the Seaway cover more. The original is something you listen to when you were feeling nostalgic, but the pop punk cover is more of a jam.