Favorite non-operatic artists #2

Hello, everyone!
After talking about French performers in Part I, let's move on to my favorite English-speaking bands.

From today’s rock musicians I can definitely highlight one British band which speaks to my heart with its songs. And this band is called «Keane». I’ve got to know about «Keane» from my best friend. One day she turned on her mp3 player with two songs: «Everybody's changing» and «Somewhere only we know». I’d heard these tracks before but I’d had no idea about the performers. Afterwards, I listened to all «Keane»’s recordings and really fell in love with their music.

I would describe their esthetics as calm and peaceful music. And no matter how sad the lyrics are, there is always a glimpse of hope and light in it. And I absolutely adore «Keane» for that! Though the melodies are very simple but in this simplicity you find a life story with known-to-everybody emotions. In our music world which mostly tends to mainstream genres, it’s great to have someone with his/her own attitude like «Keane». Another thing I like about this band is a piano solo. I enjoy playing piano myself and very few musicians decide to give this instrument a leading part in rock bands.

«Keane» has four studio albums and also a recording called «The Best of Keane». To my mind, «The Best» album is good to start your journey to the world of «Keane» cause it consists of songs that they are famous for. It will help to understand if you like their style or not. For me personally, the best album is «Strangeland», probably, because it includes my most favorite songs like «Starting line» or «Disconnected».

«Pentatonix» is a one-of-a-kind band as they perform a cappella. I guess you may have heard a lot of a cappella bands or ensembles but these guys are unique, believe me! «Pentatonix» or PTX is a group of four singers and one beatboxer (who can also sing). They make covers of popular songs but also perform with their original material. Since winning the a cappella contest «Sing-off» in 2011, PTX has become a phenomenon in the music world.
One day my good friend sent me a video where «Pentatonix» sings «Carol of the bells» in their own arrangement. I loved it so much!!! First of all, a bass boy stole my heart immediately, second of all, the arrangement has a very interesting polyphony and it’s the most difficult version of this piece I’ve ever heard in my life! Then I came across the cover called «Daft Punk»…it’s just amazing and unbelievable! You may be confused for a while cause it literally sounds like a real electro arrangement! By the way, they have won Grammy for that!
PTX has recorded five albums, two of them are dedicated to Xmas. «PTX Vol. I», «Vol. II», «Vol. III» include covers like «Starships» (by Nicki Minaj), «Can’t hold us» (by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis), «Papaoutai» (by Stromae) and several original songs like «Love again», «Run to you», «On my way home» etc. I love everything and what excites me most of all that I see development and progress in their work between «PTX Vol. I» and «PTX Vol. III». In Christmas albums they present a cappella genre in more classic way. The tracklist of both CDs includes well-known and not very popular Xmas songs. If you like such pieces and carol singing in general, you should definitely check it out.
These five talented singers always have something new and unusual to offer in each album. All the time they try to experiment with rhythm, solo parts, vocal effects. It amazes me how many things they can do using only their voices! So PTX is must-listen for everyone!

P.S. Do you know these artists? If you do, tell me in the comments what’s your favorite album or song? What talented performers of non-operatic genres could you recommend me?

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