Band of the Week – Peter Hollens
So this week’s pick may stretch the definition of what many consider to be a “band.” I admit that I was in a number of singing groups in college, and I was introduced to and fell in love with a cappella music. For those of you who aren’t as big a nerd as me, a cappella music is defined as that in which all of the sounds in a music track are created by people. This includes the usual signing, of course, but also involves vocal percussion, guitar riffs, trumpet solos, etc. The show The Sing Off on NBC has somewhat increased the popularity of a cappella music, but I would still call it a fairly niche genre.
Anyway, this week’s band is actually one guy who has covered a number of popular songs, performing all of the parts himself and layering each part on top of the other. His name is Peter Hollens, and he is one of the founders of one of the collegiate a cappella powerhouse groups, On the Rocks. This group has been on a number of the SING compilation CDs (think NOW for a cappella music). But obviously, since this is a collegiate group that was founded in 1999, Hollens is no longer in the group and has started making his own videos.
My favorite video so far is actually the first one I found, which is a cover he has made of Phillip Phillips’ song “Home.”
My only knock on his covers is somewhat based on my own biases. I am a deep bass singer and always look for a good solid bass track in any a cappella song. Obviously no one can cover the full range from high tenor to low bass, and he tends more toward the former than the latter. All in all, though, the arrangements are solid, the songs are relevant, the audio quality is great, and the videos are well put together. This would be a good place to start for anyone new to the a cappella world. I would also recommend checking out the rest of his YouTube videos, and his songs are available for download on iTunes.