Halloween 2019 has just been… and gone… and, as always, a plethora of suitably scary videos hit YouTube & Facebook. Who can resist at this time of year! An absolute treasure of an interpretation of The Cure‘s “Lullaby” popped up on various timelines which instantly grabbed me with its sensational seasonal arrangement. It was much too good to leave undocumented.
Multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and songwriter Chelle Heart has very inventively stripped down this Cure classic with an arrangement for tenor & baritone ukes along with vocals and clarinet. What’s more the video is edited together beautifully to give us a clear view of what is doing what at any given moment. I tremendously love this approach too, it’s so open and honest, an insight into the process while we’re enjoying the end result. Very clever.
A Pono tenor ukulele takes the chordal chops and that memorable reverb guitar lead while the baritone adds a richer tone to provide the bass. This ladies and gentleman is exactly how one should write ukulele arrangements, the three lines on very similar instruments rhythmically and melodically climbing around each other on the branches of the “Lullaby” tree to produce a fully rounded sonority. The clarinet then duskily cuts across the uke timbres as it takes the synth melody before Chelle’s self-confessed “inner Elvira” adds the dark alluring vocal to top this arrangement perfectly.
Both technically and instructively this is a video to be praised as it shows great skill and understanding of orchestration and structure whilst nakedly demonstrating its hidden secrets. Once the lesson has been digested however one is still left with a marvellous piece of music to enjoy in moments of pure pleasure. Win and indeed win. So Goth up your hair, unleash your inner Robert Smith and enjoy!