© 2018 by Ethan Kenvarg

PRODUCTION: A.V. Undercovercover

Every year, the online entertainment publication The A.V. Club creates a list of 25 songs and invites bands to their office to cover them. Once a song is covered, it is crossed off the list, and each subsequent band has fewer and fewer songs to choose from. Known as A.V. Undercover, it is one of my favorite web series. As a personal project, I decided to follow along with the 2016 series, attempting to cover each cover in order. Unable to resist a mediocre pun, I dubbed the project A.V. Undercovercover.

In preparation for this esoteric undertaking, I listened through all 25 A.V. Undercover songs, gathering quantitative (tempo, key, lyrics) and qualitative (style, genre, mood) data for each one. Using this information, I brainstormed ways to upend the conventions of the song in order to make each cover memorable and unique.

The Project

In conjunction with an ongoing web series, compose, record, and release a new cover song each week.

The Outcome

A set of unique, genre-bending tracks, accompanied by playfully satirical album art.

With a new song covered in the A.V. Club studios every week, I had only seven days to then record, mix, produce, master, and release my own version. This also included cheeky “album art”, which were recreations made using low-cost props and Snapchat filters.

My cover of Katy Perry’s modern classic “Roar” serves as a perfect example of both the project’s quirkiness and its craft. As you’ll hear, I added a distinctive D’Angelo-inspired R&B twist to create something far afield from the original sugary pop single.