One of the most difficult things to accomplish when playing cover songs is to find a way to set yourself apart from the rest of the musicians that perform the same material. There are hundreds, if not thousands of bands that cull from the same list of tried and true songs that will go over well in just about any setting. Even if a performer can stray away from the norm, there is still the issue of presenting a unique product. It takes looking at the business from a different perspective to be able to rise above the pack—and that is exactly what Scott Bradlee has done with his outfit known as Postmodern Jukebox.
Scott’s goal for the project is to “create an alternate universe of popular song” according the band’s website. He uses several extremely talented musicians and vocalists to accomplish this mission by putting a twist on some of today’s most popular music. From a Bluegrass version of Robin Thicke’s mega-hit “Blurred Lines,” to a Roaring 20’s version of Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe,” to a Motown tribute to Nickleback, Bradlee shatters the original styles and arrangements, and then carefully pieces them back together in his own way, all without losing the spirit of the original song and artist.
How many times have you heard or played “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses? I’m guessing the answer is probably “a lot.” The version below is like none you’ve ever heard before, with powerhouse singer Miche Braden leaving Axl Rose’s original vocal in the dust. Make sure you listen to the end to hear Braden’s earth trembling note. You’ll never listen to this song the same way again.
The above video is just one of many that you can find on the band’s YouTube Page. You’ll find yourself laughing along with the band as they reconstruct many of your favorite tunes, while still sitting in awe of the stellar musicianship. Many of the tunes feature lead vocalist Robyn Adele Anderson—whose silky jazz stylings lend itself well to updated versions of everything from Selena Gomez to Kesha. Take a listen for yourself in the video below of a 50’s Doo Wop version of “Timber.”
In just the last year, Postmodern Jukebox have caused quite a stir on the internet. Their YouTube Page has topped one million subscribers after having just around 6000 a little more than twelve months ago. A quick Google search returns nearly a half a million results – with articles on Buzzfeed, Huffington Post and PopWatch…among many others.
While the band’s output has been exclusively relegated to online videos, Bradlee is realizing his vision this year with taking the show on the road. Starting in June of 2014, Postmodern Jukebox can be seen live during several dates booked in the United States, Europe and the UK, with more being added as of this writing.
Scott Bradlee and Postmodern Jukebox have accomplished what many cover bands are yearning to achieve—create a unique show that involves performing other artist’s songs, but make their own with an innovative idea, all the while focusing on quality musicianship. It just goes to show that playing covers isn’t always just about replicating what someone else has already done, but rather, creating a brand new product by putting your own stamp on it.