The members of New York’s PS22 Chorus are arguably some of the most famous fifth graders in the world. They’ve racked up 42 million views and counting on Youtube, where they post their covers of artists from Matisyahu to Kylie Minogue. Last week they shared the stage with Sinead O’Connor at Manhattan’s Highline Ballroom, opening her show with their take on Gotye‘s much-covered “Somebody That I Used to Know.”
“Somebody That I Used to Know,” the breakout single from Belgian-born musician Gotye, has been getting some serious covers attention in the last few months. We recently recapped the five best covers of the track to date, but new contenders are emerging all the time. The latest take on “Somebody” comes from acapella group Pentatonix, who won the most recent season of NBC’s The Sing-Off.
Best (So Far) finds the finest first-round covers of the latest pop hits.
Gotye’s über-ctachy breakup jam “Somebody That I Used to Know” first hit the web last summer, but it’s only taken off stateside in the past few months. A small part of that popularity comes from Walk Off the Earth’s stunning viral cover. Lots of other artists have covered the song too, many delivering takes at least almost as memorable.
When we posted Walk Off the Earth’s brilliant cover of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” at the beginning of the year, one commenter wrote, “uugghh. they are lipsyching & guitarsyching to a pre-recording which defeats the purpose of this video.” Well, smart guy, here’s a counter argument: their performance on Ellen.
Mashups are usually the realm of DJ’s, not singer/songwriters who favor acoustic guitars. Texas-based musician Aaron Kaufman is breaking the mold, however, with some creative mashups that pair a classic track with a modern hit. A few months ago he combined Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory” with Hall & Oates’ “Rich Girl,” and his most recent mashup pairs his takes on Gotye’s much-covered single “Somebody That I Used to Know” and The Beatles classic “Can’t Buy Me Love.”
Last week we heard a cover of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” that had already earned four million views on YouTube. Since, that ten-hands-one-guitar performance has earned 22 million more, making it maybe the most viral cover video we’ll see all year (until Karmin comes out with another one that is).