Put up your ukes!
When we were 16 and enduring a particularly mundane winter vacation, my best friend and I impulse-bought two shiny ukuleles on Amazon.com. Our plan was to record quirky covers of She & Him songs that would inevitably become viral hits on YouTube, prompting people everywhere to idolize and/or fall deeply in love with us. Of course, once the ukes were actually in our hands, we quickly realized that this would require musical talent. The plot was promptly abandoned, and we settled for living vicariously through the hundreds and hundreds of ukulele cover musicians on YouTube who actually know how to play their instruments. Check out a few of my favorites after the jump.
“Creep” (Radiohead cover) by Amanda Palmer
Just when I thought that I never wanted to hear this song again, I found Amanda Palmer’s cover of the Radiohead classic and fell in love with it once more. I think one YouTube user really got it right (that’s a first, huh?) when he described Palmer’s voice as “dangerously perfect.”
“Thinking About You” (Frank Ocean cover) by Gabe Bondoc
In my mind, the only combination more unlikely than Frank Ocean and John Mayer is Frank Ocean and a ukulele, but Gabe Bondoc makes it sound like the song was written for his instrument. His vocals are crazy smooth, but what makes this cover incredible is the perfect agreement between Ocean’s melody and the pure, sharp sound of the ukulele.
“Paint It Black” (The Rolling Stones cover) by SUPERCUTE!
I just really love the idea that three (totally badass) teenage girls used a ukulele, which is pretty much the most twee instrument ever, to cover a Stones song. And they absolutely rocked it, with flowers in their hair and hearts on their cheeks. Awesome.
“The General Specific” (Band of Horses cover) by Julia Nunes
Julia Nunes, one of YouTube’s more famous ukulele musicians, has a deep, wistful voice that fits perfectly with the melancholy tone of this song. Even though the latter half of this video is just witty banter that is stuck somewhere between endearing and annoying, Nunes’ sheer talent more than makes up for it.
“Fuck You” (Cee Lo Green cover) by Gina Moffit
I think we’re all pretty sick of this song by now, but the words “fuck you” just feel so much more earnest when in unison with a ukulele.
Leave a Comment
Be nice. Don't use HTML tags. And consider reading our full comment policy.