Had it been released with commercial interests in mind, instead of by a not-for-profit organisation with noble intentions, then the “new” Nirvana song which dropped a few weeks back would have made for a much louder and fiercer talking point.
Drowned in the Sun was no mere forgotten off-cut posthumously unearthed from the archive to mark 27 years since Kurt Cobain’s suicide, but rather an original composition, generated, in a manner of speaking anyway, by the man himself from beyond the grave. How on earth?
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Lost Tapes of the 27 Club is an innovative music project by Toronto-based non-profit Over the Bridge that’s all about raising awareness of mental health problems among musicians.
They’ve used the latest AI technology to analyse up to 30 songs each by selected members of the so-called “27 club” – that often distastefully mythologised group of musicians from Cobain to Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and Amy Winehouse, all of whom died at the age of 27 after mental health struggles. Humans have then worked with this AI to co-write and perform “new” (non-official) songs in the artists’ signature styles.
Think of it like rock’n’roll’s CGI Princess Leia in Star Wars moment – not wholly convincing, but unsettlingly impressive nevertheless
Featuring the ragged voice of Eric Hogan, lead singer with “ultimate” Nirvana tribute band Nevermind (AI isn’t yet advanced enough to convincingly copy voices, but give it time), Drowned in the Sun was unveiled in early April. Three minutes of ersatz sludgy-brooding guitars, knock-off Dave Grohl drum fills and neurotic-by-numbers lyrics (“I still got some pain / but it’s over now”), that sounds creepily like the real thing, in a very wonky kind of way. Think of it like rock’n’roll’s CGI Princess Leia in Star Wars moment – not wholly convincing, but unsettlingly impressive, nevertheless.