How do you take a modern hip hop song and turn it into a bluegrass barn dance? Add Postmodern Jukebox.
Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox is no longer a secret. With tens of millions of views and a full international concert schedule, the band (experience? lifestyle?–ok, music collective, according to vocalist Robyn Adele Anderson) is in a full-out assault on the music world.
The brilliant minds behind Postmodern Jukebox reenvision pop songs in different genres, from bluegrass to doo-wop to swing. As Roxane Assaf from the Huffington Post points out, the group is “largely reinterpreting bubble gum pop into savory song.” And it is incredible. With a large cast of rotating musicians, the band always puts on an elaborate musical performance.
Try listening to Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” in a bluegrass barn dance style.
Is that not the best thing you’ve heard all day?
Performers are always in genre-appropriate costume and the band often incorporates other twists: tap dancers, choreography, and this Flame-o-Phone for their 60s girl group cover of Ellie Goulding’s “Burn.”
Postmodern Jukebox is the brainchild of ragtime pianist and jazz musician Scott Bradlee who is “creating an alternate universe of pop songs.” That’s a universe that we want to be a part of. Bradlee teamed up with Robyn Adele Anderson, one of the group’s primary vocalists, and together they romp through covers that often far outstrips their originals.
The band has even given a Ted talk, and it is a must-see for anyone interested in the creative process of music.
In 2013, Cosmopolitan invited the band to their office to record a mashup of the year’s biggest hits. What resulted is pretty much exactly what the title says, the most unbelievable mashup you’ll hear. They sample “Blurred Lines,” “Holy Grail,” “We Can’t Stop,” “Roar,” and “Royals,” each time switching between genres, before topping it all off with a grand finale, which I won’t give away here. Seriously, you’ll have to watch it to see.
Another vintage bluegrass cover that the band has done is Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda.” No word from Minaj yet on how she appreciates their substitution of banjo for butt. But it’s Von Smith’s chihuahua playing that really sets this tune apart.
They also do a series of cartoon theme songs as 90s R&B. Just in case they weren’t awesome enough already.
We leave you with one final clip. Postmodern Jukebox has re-envisioned three of Taylor Swift’s songs. And even Taylor Swift herself would love this: the vintage Motown cover of “Shake it Off.”
Check out Postmodern Jukebox at one of their upcoming concert dates.
Oh, what the heck. How about one more? Here’s a mariachi version of Avicii’s “Wake Me Up.”