London’s most sought-after string quartet, City String Ensemble, has released their second EP, “Throwback…to the Millennium.”
This versatile group of classically-trained string musicians has reimagined some of their favourite and most iconic songs from the the Millennium era and 2000s, challenging the preconceptions of what classical musicians and classical instruments are capable of. One of the 6 tracks on the EP, Amy Winehouse’s “Tears Dry On Their Own,” has been added to Spotify’s extremely popular playlist, “Pop Goes Classical” with the whole EP gaining over 20k streams in the first week of its release.
Spanning from 1996 to 2008, the six tracks on the EP all show-off different genres within the pop industry with tracks such as “Virtual Insanity” by Jamiroquai and “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” by The Darkness requiring a sensibility for the funk and rock genres respectively. Along with these tracks, they also cover, Christina Aguilera’s “Genie in a Bottle,” “Say You’ll Be There” by The Spice Girls and Estelle and Kanye West’s, “American Boy.”
City String Ensemble is passionate about breaking down the wall between classical musicians and “popular” genres of music and write arrangements that are completely true to the original songs, with an extra flair of string idioms like the use of slides to mimic the voice and pizzicato for textural effect. A unique feature of CSE’s music is their ability to acoustically create their own beat in the music with the violin “chopping” technique, commonly associated with folk music. This beat propels their arrangements to a new level, channelling each songs groove while maintaining the ensemble’s classical roots.
Spotify link to new EP here