Karmin are an American pop duo, consisting of Amy Heidemann and Nick Noonan. Through creating interesting covers and having a solid image for themselves, they organically gained interest on YouTube. Now although that’s not necessarily unheard of in the age of everyone clawing their way up the social media ladder, something about Karmin caught my interest more than any other YouTube artist has.
Initially you are drawn in by the power of Amy’s vocals and her ability to make even the quirkiest of singers look dull and uninteresting, and her rhythmically perfect rapping adds to the entire ensemble, but after looking at more of Karmin’s videos it became clear the duo have an incredible, undeniable chemistry, that just jumps out of the screen and speakers. Their harmonies together are just perfectly on point every time and their voices blend together beautifully.
After stumbling upon the covers Karmin had created, someone then showed me the video for their original song “Acapella” and after that I was trapped in the colourful and quirky world of Karmin.
The video itself is so well done, and yet one of the most visually simple videos I’ve ever seen. The colours and back drop of the video are so well constructed with one another, and the video is just incredibly refreshing. Amy, giving up her classic long brown hair for a shorter more edgy blonde hair style, has an aura of authority throughout the video, forcing the viewer to keep their eyes on her, and Nick just sits back and sends off confident vibes without even trying. The song itself? PERFECT. The song uses very little instrumentation, apart from the drumbeat and a few other bits and pieces, and instead thoroughly takes advantage of the ability to create pretty much any sound imaginable all through the use of the voice. It’s incredible to know these two musicians had the vision and the musical knowledge to create this in such a successful way, that not only is pleasing for other musicians to hear, but anyone who comes across it just feels the music pulse through them immediately! The lyrics just slip off the tounge like butter and will be stuck in anyone’s mind for weeks after the first listen. “All the harmony went falling out of key, now you gotta find another” is fast becoming one of my favourite lyrics to date.
Another of Karmin’s original songs I think every songwriter, musician, and general music fan needs to check out is “Hello”. The intro sounds like an old school trance/club synth beat, but the vocals just give it this incredible “pop” vibe. The attention to detail in the lyrics and vocals are perfect, and as usual Amy’s rapping just adds this entire new level of individuality, shooting down any risk of it being labelled “just another pop song”. The song pays homage to big 80’s pop songs with the processed drum machine sounds throughout, but Karmin’s ability to take even the oldest of soundscapes and create something far more advanced than other pop groups shines through from beginning to end.
Karmin are undoubtedly my favourite YouTube find, and I think the reason is I have limitless respect for the music they create. Every cover they have done is arranged to the absolute tiniest detail, creating a whole new sound for these already popular songs. Alongside the covers they create, they have written some of the best original pop songs I’ve heard in a while, they have an excellent grasp on song writing and how to create not only a solid backdrop of instrumentation for a song, but they know how to weave lyrics into one another so they just ring in your mind for hours in such a warm way you can’t help but fall in love with every little part of each and every song.