Bryce Avary from The Rocket Summer
The ultimate multi-instrumentalist! When you hear how full sounding and tight the band in The Rocket Summer is, you’d be shocked to find out it’s all one man! Drums, bass, guitar, vocals, keys… I’m sure he’s played some other crazy stuff as well to get the musical intent across over the years. I’m floored with every album he puts out. He is absolutely the reason that I’m inspired to want to do everything myself! Having total creative ownership of your music is hard work, but the satisfaction at the end is substantial. My hands are taken up with the cello, but I guess my feet are still free so maybe I’ll turn into a one woman band myself…
Not only does she play piano, cello, clarinet, guitar, drums, produce and sing, but she invents her own instruments! Her Mi.Mu gloves are designed for expressive creation and give the wearer the ability to audibly manipulate the sounds they’re making on stage using their own hand gestures. They don’t come cheap though! Imogen Heap is so iconic in my mind. You can tell that having played all of these instruments has helped to strengthen her well-rounded understanding of orchestration, arranging and songwriting. Whether you like her style or not, you can’t deny there’s genius in them all.
So a few years ago I saw these guys play a show at the Workers Club, and it was flippin’ amazing! So much so, that I saw them again the very next day. During their set they explained that they had each decided to learn a brass instrument especially for the tour, and then proceeded to play a brass quintet version of Get Lucky by Daft Punk. I would 100% pay to see that again! I found out about these guys pretty early on in their career when they were making covers of songs on Youtube, and I know that every single one of them has an amazing voice and can play at least two instruments! A day hearing them sing in five-part harmony is a very good day.
She is undoubtedly a prodigy on the harp, but one of her most well known songs features the totally underrated harpsichord. Peach, Plum, Pear was on heavy rotation during my teen years and is my go-to play along song on any pitched percussion instrument I can get my hands on. I’ve always loved how she is not afraid to write music that showcases her musical training in a way that’s so different to a lot of pop and folk music. Every song is full of surprises, twists and turns. Between the harp, piano, harpsichord and her voice she’s got it covered!
The name might not be familiar to you, but you would know him as the cellist and bassist of pop rock band One Republic. He is also a film composer, pianist, guitarist, vocalist and percussionist, so I’m pretty sure he’s kept a busy man on most days! I’ve always loved hearing Brent shine on the cello in dozens of One Republic songs. Aside from the fact that he plays cello, which makes me totally biased, his melodies are super gorgeous!