Monday, February 16, 2015

Currently Listening 2.16.15

Ellie Goulding's Burn was pretty popular, as far as I can tell. I don't listen to the radio, but I was familiar with two covers of this song before I even found out she was the original artist. To me, the original sounds a lot like all of her other music, mostly because her voice is so painfully and unpleasantly distinct that I can't get past it and absorb the rest of the song.

This cover was my introduction to Postmodern Jukebox, and it's singular among all their other covers because of the discrepancy between how much I love it and how much I don't love Ellie Goulding. Everything from her aesthetic to the way she moves her face makes me angry. Why is anyone who relies that much on autotunes so famous? And anyway, why bother listen to her music at all when covers like this exist? Look at these charming singers, coordinating their outfits while still keeping their personal flair. Their voices are fantastic and unedited. That saxophone is literally on fire. What's not to love?

Postmodern Jukebox isn't exactly a band. It's more of a gaggle of instrumentalists, vocalists, and performance artists, from the lovely dancers in this cover of Blank Space to Puddles, “The Sad Clown with the Golden Voice,” that get rotated in depending on what each song needs. The project is headed by Scott Bradlee, the pianist in every song, and breathes life into overplayed favorites by reimagining them in some retro style that has long fallen out of fashion. The artists go an extra step to honor the chosen genre, whether that means classing it up or dressing down, and I'm in love with how much fun they're having in every video. They take themselves seriously as a group of performers—I would never say they're just goofing around—but they still manage to look like they're not trying too hard, bringing a cool, relaxed vibe to their performances. They smile, dance, gesticulate for no reason, and you can always tell they're totally into what they're doing. They really manage to set the mood in a way that genre-bending youtube covers rarely do. They even tackled Iggy Azalea and managed to turn it into something good. That's either raw talent or demon magic.

Feeling overwhelmed by the amount of links? Sorry. Here's a Justin Beiber cover.

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