If you asked me three days ago who Justin Vernon was, or if I’d ever heard of a band called band Bon Iver, or their album 22, A Million, I’d have come up blank on all three questions. But I now know that Vernon is a singer-songwriter from Wisconsin, whose music simultaneously draws on folk, indie, electronica and hip-hop genres, among others. Bon Iver, one of several bands he fronts, released 22, A Million in 2016.
And I come by this knowledge via a choral arrangement of one of his songs: “715 – CRΣΣKS,” sung by a vocal group called Analog Chorale. Now, trying to find out who these guys are requires some deep Googling. But I eventually discovered they are a freshly minted a-cappella chamber choir, about two dozen strong, in the New York area. Their chief claim to fame (so far) seems to be a recently released video featuring “715 – CRΣΣKS” arranged for choir by Krishan Oberoi (who also conducts the ensemble).
The music on this video blew me away when I first heard it. It’s a brightly polished performance of a sophisticated yet arrestingly simple setting; there’s nothing cheesy or “crossover” about it. Indeed, everything works so well that it makes “715 – CRΣΣKS” sound like it was written for the Analog Chorale.
It wasn’t, though – and I’ve posted both videos below so you can hear how Bon Iver’s original inspired the Analog Chorale’s arrangement.
© Colin Eatock 2018