Thanks to Fox’s Glee, NBC’s The Sing Off, and the Pitch Perfect franchise, A Cappella has seen a huge rise in popularity. As such, many groups have risen to YouTube, TV, and radio fame. Here is a list of artists that you, if you love A Cappella, absolutely need to hear.
Gentleman’s Rule is a seven-member male group that sings pop and R & B favorites, with a few surprises – like their versions of Trap Queen and FourFiveSeconds – as well as their own original music. Check out the performance that put them on the map, The Pachanelly Canon, a clever mashup of Nelly’s Ride Wit Me and Pachelbel’s Canon in D.
My Pick: Cheerleader
Take cover! The Voca People have invaded the planet! Hailing from Planet Voca, The Voca People combine harmony and humor for humans’ delight. They’ve even traveled from their home – uh, planet? – right into New York City. But don’t let those costumes fool you. The Voca People boast imaginative vocals and ingenious arrangements. Check out their Disney Medley – it had my kids entranced! You can find the Voca People on Facebook and YouTube.
My Pick: Treasure
Street Corner Symphony
Street Corner Symphony is, in a word, unassuming. Without attention-grabbing attire or looks, each member retains his own personal style, allowing their music to speak for itself. Strong vocals make each performance a solid 10. For some funky ear candy, check out their takes on Hey, Soul Sister and Down on the Corner.
My Pick: Madness
I saw Naturally 7 for the first time during Michael Bublé’s To Be Loved tour in 2014. This all-male ensemble provides the illusion of a traditional band with full vocal support. Their arrangements are innovative, their instrument vocalizations are indistinguishable from their real-life counterparts, and they perform breathtaking covers and original tunes.
My Pick: Fix You
What can I say about Pentatonix that hasn’t already been said? The co-ed ensemble, who broke into the mainstream on NBC’s The Sing Off, creates a sound that’s smooth, sleek, and soulful. Their covers and original music have moved millions. They recently won a Grammy for their performance of Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. And they’ve versatile enough to rock everything from Payphone to Born to Be Wild.
My Pick: If I Ever Fall in Love (feat. Jason Derulo)
Straight No Chaser
Straight No Chaser won our hearts several years ago, after a PBS performance of their 12 Days of Christmas. That performance launched the ensemble, who were studying at the University of Indiana towards different careers, to worldwide stardom. I love these guys so much, I find it hard to pick a favorite song, but I can reveal my favorite member: Jerome Collins. That man has some serious spunk.
My Pick (if I MUST): Creep
Climbing to fame via NBC’s The Sing Off, Home Free serves up country-flavored A Cappella with a fantastic sense of humor. This five-piece ensemble, rich with baritones and quirky sound effects, does not take itself too seriously. If I could describe them in a word, it would be adorable. If you find yourself in a lousy mood, cue up their cover of All About that Bass. For standout vocals, check out their version of Ring of Fire.
My Pick: Honey, I’m Good
More graduates of The Sing Off, VoicePlay is a serious contender in the A Cappella world. This five-piece ensemble from Orlando can be described as none other than hot. With rotating guest singers and a wide vocal range, VoicePlay always hits its mark.
My Pick: Wrecking Ball (feat. Sarah Vela)
Peter Hollens “& Company”
Ever hear the term ‘one-man band’? This guy is the real deal. You can say he does his own stunts, singing up to fourteen separate parts during one song. Plus, he’s fun to watch! He performs a wealth of music from both movies and Broadway shows. Check out his haunting version of The Hanging Tree from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I.
My Pick: Hallelujah (feat. Jackie Evancho)
Like their talented colleagues, The Filharmonic rose to fame as after The Sing Off. And these six young Filipinos are really freaking talented. To see their soft-as-teddies side, check out their velvety version of All of Me. For an irresistible dance mix, check out Drag Me Down, Stitches, Bad Blood, Can’t Feel My Face, and Omen: Monster Mash Up.
My Pick: Flashlight
So there you have it – enough great A Cappella to fuel a whole new playlist on your iPod!
Featured Photo Credit: Peter Hollens/YouTube