Aleah Fitzwater

Aleah Fitzwater is a rogue classical musician from Bedford, MI (a rural town between the cities of Detroit and Toledo). At a young age, she found herself taken by woodwind instruments- particularly, the flute. She continued her musical exploration at the University of Toledo where she received a bachelor's in instrumental music education. She currently works as a freelance music writer and recording artist and also runs two Etsy shops. When she’s not working, she’s probably playing with her Yorkie (Presto) or rearranging a song for a ridiculously large flute choir. Follow her at https://aleahfitzwater.com for more blog content, or https://www.instagram.com/aleahflute to hear classical spins on popular songs.

Nov 292022
 
chiptune pokemon

Step aka Step On Newgrounds is a YouTuber and musician who is also an aspiring game developer. He goes by Stephan Wells IRL, and his talent as both a musician and arranger is undeniable in this 8-bit cover of Ed Sheeran “Celestial.” 

The original “Celestial” was featured on the credits of the game Pokemon and Scarlet Violet. While Sheeran’s version of the tune feels more like something you might hear in the club, Step’s genre-blends chiptune with ’80s vibes, leading to an oddly satisfying sonic experience. 

Step shows off his skills as an arranger in this iteration of “Celestial.” It starts out with 80s-feeling vocals, jagged held synth chords, multiple moving lines, and cheerful bleep-bloops. The underlying vocal harmonies, as well as Step’s diction, are absolutely impeccable. About halfway through, we get more of a dancey break before the B-section comes. The way that Step layers the two themes as we crescendo to the final choruses is chill-worthy. Not to mention, the accompanying video for his cover of “Celestial” is extremely cute and artistic, featuring watercolor-style depictions of Game Boys and Pokemon characters. 

Head here for more interesting Ed Sheeran covers.

Nov 222022
 
nessa barrett

Nessa Barrett is an American pop singer who first rose to fame in 2019 on Tiktok. She recently released a unique soundscapey pop cover of the 2007 Arctic Monkeys song “505”. “505” has always held a special place in the hearts of Arctic Monkeys fans and indie enthusiasts. The song details a relationship that is falling apart: The twist of a knife, falling short, a fateful meeting, and a girl in her hotel room (hence the number). “505” is about a long-distance relationship, and how a reunion doesn’t turn out to be as cheerful as you had hoped. According to band member Alex Turner, the tune is “The first proper love song we’ve done.” Continue reading »

Nov 182022
 
speak low

Ryan Scott Graham is a vocalist and bassist for the pop-punk band State Champs. Speak Low is the title reserved for his creative solo projects, such as this cover of Taylor Swift’s new Midnights standout “Anti-Hero.”

In this cover, Graham makes “Anti-Hero” feel singer-songwritery with his acoustic guitar, but also manages to harken back to the original with the simple yet satisfying electronic drums that permeate through the background. The artist truly owned the self-critical and overly honest lyrics of “Anti-Hero”. My ears perked up immediately as the vocalist took small yet poignant melodic liberties even beyond completely changing the instrumentation of the tune. Continue reading »

Nov 092022
 
tones and i achilles

“Dance Monkey” hitmaker Tones and I covered fellow Australians Gang of Youths’ song “Achilles Come Down” for her recent appearance on Triple J’s Like a Version. Her version began with the pared-down combination of vocals and a grand piano. Next, orchestral strings come in with a soft pizzicato in the second verse. So many creative liberties were taken in this version, and the classical flutist/arranger in me is absolutely loving it.  Continue reading »

Nov 022022
 
first to eleven crawling

Less than a week ago, rock cover group First to Eleven released an intimate cover of Linkin Park “Crawling.” While the intro remains true to the original with its distorted synth-like guitar, the group quickly put their own spin on the tune as the first verse set in. This version is expertly layered with acoustic guitar and cajon, a box drum that comes from Peru. The softness of these instruments is contrasted by electric bass, background synths, and lively snare.

We almost get hints of Taylor Swift in between the deep-seated angst. The lead singer’s voice is oh-so-pure in this iteration of “Crawling”.

For more great Linkin’ Park covers, be sure to crawl here.

Oct 282022
 
bite me bambi

Bite Me Bambi is a catchy, female-fronted ska band from Southern California. Their new cover of The Offspring’s 2000 single “Want You Bad” is playful and dance-worthy, and has the energy of that of Reel Big Fish or Less Than Jake. In Bite Me Bambi’s hands, “Want You Bad” is taunting yet upbeat. The B-section, however, does give us a twinge of melancholy, just before a blaring saxophone solo comes in, backed by a jam-band-style instrumental. And lead singer Tahlena Chikami takes the stage by storm.  Continue reading »