Postmodern Jukebox are a force to be reckoned with. Starting out as the bedroom project of Jazz pianist Scott Bradlee, the US group’s vintage-pop mash ups have racked up over 650 million YouTube views and brought their rotating roster of top-class session musicians into the limelight & onto worldwide tours that have sold 220 thousand tickets to date. The outfit played 155 shows in 2016 alone.
Now, they’re releasing their major label debut album The Essentials in the UK on April 6th alongside a run of live shows, kicking off in Bournemouth on Feb 27th and culminating in 2 nights at London’s Hammersmith Apollo on March 23rd & 24th.
The Essentials collects 18 favourites from Postmodern Jukebox’s weekly postings. Both the songs and the styles span decades – it just happens that the decades in question are separated by about half a century. Bradlee’s choice of material ranges from the ‘80s hard rock of Guns N’ Roses to more recent hits such as Justin Bieber’s ‘Sorry’.
The album serves as the perfect starting point to the world of Postmodern Jukebox, whose weekly videos marry familiar 21st-century pop tropes such as the party vibe of Miley Cyrus or the minimalist angst of Radiohead with the musical styles of yesteryear, from swing to doo-wop, ragtime to Motown, or as Bradlee himself puts it, “pop music in a time machine”.
In his liner notes Bradlee writes
“It’s my hope that this collection will lead you to discover a world of nostalgia for the music of the past – regardless of where you were born – and welcome you warmly into our community of amazing live performers, creative artists, and music lovers that are dedicated to keeping #RealMusic alive.”
The collection includes massive hits such as a vaudevillian distressing of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ ‘Thrift Shop’ fronted by Robyn Adele Anderson that garnered more than a million views within a week of being posted. The pin-up styled singer returned for the album’s opener, their ‘50s doo-wop version of Miley Cyrus’ ‘We Can’t Stop’, which garnered more than 19.5 million views and was named one of the ‘9 Best Viral Cover Videos of 2015’ by People magazine.
Monday 27th February – 02 Academy Bournemouth
Tuesday 28th February – Corn Exchange, Cambridge
Wednesday 1st March – Brighton Dome
Friday 3rd March – 02 Apollo Manchester
Sunday 5th March – Waterfront Hall, Belfast
Monday 6th March – Vicar Street, Dublin
Tuesday 7th March – Vicar Street, Dublin
Thursday 9th March – Newcastle City Hall
Wednesday 10th March – Sheffield City Hall
Thursday 11th March – Usher Hall, Edinburgh
Friday 12th March – Liverpool Philharmonic
Tuesday 14th March – 02 Academy Leeds
Wednesday 15th March – Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow
Friday 17th March – 02 Academy Birmingham
Saturday 18th March – Plymouth Pavilions
Monday 20th March – Colston Hall, Bristol
Thursday 23rd March – Eventim-Apollo, London
Friday 24th March – Eventim-Apollo, London