I discovered the PS22 Chorus today through Copy, Right? and despite having to work on a Saturday night (after already working late every night this week) I now have a huge smile on my face. A little googling suggests I might be one of the last people to have heard of them – such is the fate of someone who doesn’t read Perez Hilton or follow Ashton Kutcher on Twitter, I guess – but on the off-chance that you haven’t either, I’d love to share them with you.
This beautiful cover of Pictures Of You was the first thing I saw by them, and the reason I promptly went to Youtube to watch everything else I could find. It’s a little strange at first seeing these 5th graders sing with the sort of slightly cliched actions they must have seen in countless music videos, but you soon stop thinking about it and just enjoy their guilelessness. The arrangement is great too, with an a capella beginning which they handle very well and lovely accompaniment on the piano by their teacher, who is clearly the coolest music teacher ever.
The next performance I really like is of one of my favourite Tori Amos songs (their teacher is a huge Tori fan and has arranged many of her songs for them to sing), 1000 Oceans. It’s especially amazing that what you see in the video is after just two practices! I certainly don’t remember my primary school choir being ANYWHERE as impressive, though that could have been because I was in it. On the assumption that 1000 Oceans is less likely to be known to the readers of this blog than the other two songs in this post (yes, I do sometimes like chick singers, it’s not all guttural screaming and walls of feedback in my iPod), here’s Tori singing the original so you can compare. The studio version’s better than the live version I linked to, but it appears there’s been a Youtube crackdown on her studio versions. This might be one of those rare times when I like the cover as much as the original.
I saved the best for last, not because it’s necessarily the best performance they’ve done but because, as happy as the other two performances make me, this is the one I’ve listened to repeatedly tonight while ploughing through contracts. I’ll Be Your Mirror has long been one of my favourite love songs and I wanted to put it on our wedding playlist, but took it out in the end because I didn’t think the subtleties of the Velvet Underground and Nico suited a wedding dinner particularly well. If only I’d known about this version back then.