Talent

Talented singer does haunting acappella performance of popular ’90s song

August 7th, 2020

When you think of The Cranberries, one particular song probably comes to mind.

Their anti-war anthem “Zombie” rose to the top of the charts around the world during the early 90’s punk-rock peak. It was written about the conflict in Northern Ireland following the IRA bombing in 1993—an issue which was understandably close to the Irish band’s heart.

Julia Westlin is a Swedish singer who creates hauntingly beautiful covers, using nothing but layers of her own voice.

She will sometimes record the same section as many as eight times so she can provide enough background support.

She effectively plays the drums, bass, guitar, piano, backup vocals, the triangle and whatever else the song calls for while also crushing the lead vocals.

She loved The Cranberries, and like many of us, she was shocked to hear of frontwoman Dolores O’Riordan’s untimely death. She covered the band’s most iconic song in memory of the late singer, and dedicated the cover to her.

“I grew up listening to The Cranberries music. They are an amazing band. In memory of Dolores.” -Julia Westlin

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wikimedia.org Source: wikimedia.org

Her recording starts with four identical versions of herself singing the intro to the song.

Her long two-toned hair is braided to one side, and she’s dressed all in black—definitely looking very ’90s punk. They all look the same, but are visibly singing different sections of the song.

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YouTube Screenshot Source: YouTube Screenshot

As the tune starts to pick up, the video cuts the four windows into smaller sections. Every square represents another “instrument” Julia is playing with her voice.

The two central frames have changed. Those versions of her have now taken out the braid and her hair is hanging loose down to her hips, and are wearing a kilt instead of pants.

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YouTube Screenshot Source: YouTube Screenshot

The chorus kicks in, and just when you thought the song couldn’t use any more layers, two more windows pop up.

But you see, it’s not me
It’s not my family
In your head, in your head, they are fighting
With their tanks, and their bombs
And their bombs, and their guns
In your head, in your head they are crying
In your head, in your head
Zombie, zombie, zombie-ie-ie

It’s almost impossible not to sing along!

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YouTube Screenshot Source: YouTube Screenshot

Am I crazy… or does her voice sound a little bit like a mix of both Celine Dion and Dolores O’Riordan?

You don’t come across that very often! If I didn’t know any better, I would be convinced she uses auto-tune. But nope—her voice is actually just this beautiful!

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YouTube Screenshot Source: YouTube Screenshot

It’s mesmerizing to watch her do it all.

You can switch your gaze to any square at any time and can focus in on what part of the song she’s bringing to life with her voice.

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YouTube Screenshot Source: YouTube Screenshot

Julia’s performance is an entirely solo a cappella cover, with one small exception…

And she’s not just wearing a different outfit on the far left here.

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YouTube Screenshot Source: YouTube Screenshot

You might be wondering about this guy.

He keeps popping up in different squares, humming into the microphone, looking nothing like the other seven or so frames of Julia Westlin. But he’s there to provide a consistent hum for the baseline. His voice must reach deeper than Julia’s can, so she’s brought him in for a little support.

It may not look like much, but it’s honest work.

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YouTube Screenshot Source: YouTube Screenshot

Every other aspect of the song is done entirely with Julia Westlin’s own voice. Pretty incredible!

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YouTube Screenshot Source: YouTube Screenshot

Julia Westlin was born and raised in Sweden, but moved to Canada in 2012, where her musical career really took off.

She has been recording her own a cappella covers and sharing them to YouTube for years—and now has almost 500,000 subscribers! In addition to her own music, she has also composed for movies and video games! A pretty sweet gig if you ask me.

Watch the video below to see her moving and hauntingly beautiful cover of The Cranberries, “Zombie.”

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

Sources: YouTube/Julia Westlin, Louder Sound

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