On Friday CASA announced the headliner for SoJam 2013, and I was like ^^. I Carlton’d so hard because it’s the Swingle Singers from the UK! You have no idea how lucky we are that they’re bringing their beautiful euphonies to us, filling our souls to the brim with happiness.
You think I’m joking, but I’m being 100% serious.
Let’s go into some history, shall we? The original group was created in the 1960s by Ward Swingle. (Pause and recognize how cool his name was.) Until 2011, the group consisted of two sopranos, two altos, two tenors, and two basses. The ever-changing group has collected several Grammy awards and nominations throughout the years. The Swingle repertoire is just as impressive, as they cover not only popular songs, but also classical pieces written by composers like Mozart and Bach. They really manage to cover every audience in some way. Despite having only seven people today, the Swingles manage to mesmerize with their jazzy arrangements, singing every beautiful note with purpose.
…but you don’t have to take my word for it. Check out some of the amazing music the Swingles have performed over the past few years:
Okay, so this technically isn’t just the Swingles, but it was a cool way to open up the vid section. Note Jo’s crazy-good violin in the opening, Tobias’ impressive trumpet, and Sara’s wailing guitar. Ten points to you if you recognized The Boxette’s Bellatrix and Mo5aic’s Jake Moulton. Really a great move on T-Mobile’s part, especially now that the media has warmed up to a cappella, and how heart-warming was that? C’mon.
I feel like this is the first time I heard the Swingle Singers, and I was completely in awe. This video truly personifies the Swingles’ ability to take a piece written for instruments and turn it into a compelling vocal production. They invigorate the music and really make it their own. Aside from the music, this video is pretty awesome. I love a good tango.
Another well-known name in the world of a cappella, Peter Hollens and the Swingles collaborate to cover the classic Poor Wayfaring Stranger, with brilliant arrangement, vp, and baritone line provided by Tom Anderson. This is a cover that could bring your high school choir teacher to tears. The Swingles just redefined the word soprano for you. You’re welcome.
Those sneaky Swingles. Here they are with Soul Bossa Nova on the Tube, laying down a tune on the subway. (I hope that guy turned his iPod off.) I’m always impressed by Tobias’ use of cup, so…nice one, guy. If this could happen on every public transportation ride, maybe people would grumble less. Just a thought.
Finally, a song that could move the hardest of hearts. Björk is not an artist that people normally jump to cover because her music is so unique, using various sounds and instruments difficult to replicate with the voice, but the Swingles don’t shy away. This song really pushes them as musicians and vocalists. Just listen to all of the different noises they make on top of those beautiful chords to set the tone. The string section? It’s unreal. I cry every time I hear this piece just because it stirs so many emotions. How could your heart not feel something after such a performance, especially realizing that this was live? It’s inspiring in every way.
Hoo. Okay. Wipe those tears.
Did you fall in love at first click? Good. Then you should check out and support their 50th Anniversary Album project! Just click here to learn more about what these master musicians have up their sleeves and how you can help to get the ball rolling.
Oh, and don’t forget to come to SoJam to see them live!! Or to see me do this at their concert:
(I just really like Will Smith, guys.)