A cappella’s been creeping further and further into the indie rock realm: Not necessarily bands who sing without instrumentation behind them, but straight-up college a cappella groups covering Animal Collective and Vampire Weekend, backing Rivers Cuomo. It’s like a sickness! Just kidding (sort of). One-upping these dabblings, Ben Folds has created a new album, Ben Folds Presents: University A Cappella, a collection of the US of A’s best a cappella groups covering his songs. Over two months, he, his wife Fleur, and engineer Joe Costa recorded the tracks themselves. The sounds were all captured with six area mics. Each session got four hours. This is raw a cappella, people. And, as Folds says, “This is not a novelty .. I consider this my new record…I’m incredibly proud of this.” We have the artwork, the track list, and most importantly, sounds.
The Spartones From The University of North Carolina Greensboro – “Not The Same” (Ben Folds Cover) (MP3)
That was The Spartones from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro doing “Not the Same.” Ben also sang a couple of his own a cappella takes on Way To Normal’s “Effington” and the elder Ben Folds Five track, “Boxing.” Continuing the give/take, some of the groups will accompany Folds on his upcoming tour dates. Let’s hope they keep it real like the University of Rochester Midnight Ramblers doing “Army.”
Ben is clearly stoked:
If this were Ben World, this would be my greatest hits album. I’d rather this be my greatest hits record than someone collecting my masters and slapping on a photo of me leaning against a piano. This is a better way. I’m a songwriter, and these are my songs.
01 “Not The Same” – The Spartones from Greensboro, NC.
02 “Jesusland” – The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Loreleis
03 “Brick” – The Ohio University Leading Tones
04 “You Don’t Know Me” – The University Of Georgia’s With Someone Else’s Money
05 “Still Fighting It” – Washington University in St. Louis’s Mosaic Whispers
06 “Boxing” – Ben Folds
07 “Selfless, Cold, and Compose” – The Sacramento State Jazz Singers
08 “Magic” – The University of Chicago’s Voices In Your Head
09 “Landed” – The University of Colorado Buffoons
10 “Time” – The Princeton Nassoons
11 “Effington” – Ben Folds
12 “Evaporated” – The Newtones from Newton, MA
13 “Fred Jones Part 2″ – The West Chester University of Pennsylvania Gracenotes
14 “Army” – The University of Rochester Midnight Ramblers
15 “Fair” – University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire’s Fifth Element
16 “The Luckiest” – The Washington University in St. Louis Amateurs
Ben Folds Presents: University A Capella! is out 4/28 via Epic.