Friday, May 20, 2011

Cool Music Friday #24 - Pomplamoose

Pomplamoose is an American indie music duo with multi-instrumentalists Jack Conte and Natalie Dawn Knutsen, performing under the name Nataly Dawn. The band formed in the summer of 2008 and sold approximately 100,000 songs online in 2009.

The name of the band derives from the French word pamplemousse, meaning grapefruitPomplamoose is an English-spelling approximation of the French pronunciation.

The group's presence is primarily videos on YouTube and MySpace with few live performances gathering over 260,000 subscribers on their YouTube channel as of May 2011. The group first gained widespread recognition when their video performance of Hail Mary was featured on the front page of YouTube. The duo recently produced the latest studio album of Julia Nunes.
Their videos mostly take the form of "VideoSongs", a medium Jack Conte defines with two rules:
  1. What you see is what you hear. (No lip-syncing for instruments or voice)
  2. If you hear it, at some point you see it. (No hidden sounds)
On April 11, 2010, the band was interviewed on NPR's All Things Considered. Conte discussed the "glitz-free" manner in which they record:
I guess I kinda don't like how there's such a pedestal for music culture and especially for band culture, it just feels fake; it feels like smoke and mirrors. I feel like music doesn't have to be like that. It can be something that's very normal and very accessible.
—Jack Conte
Also in April 2010, their cover of The Chordettes' "Mr. Sandman" was used in a commercial for Toyota's Avalon series, set in an art-deco train station.
In September 2010, Pomplamoose recorded a collaboration with Allee Willis entitled "Jungle Animal". Willis contacted the duo after hearing their cover of "September" by Earth, Wind & Fire and offered to write the new song for them. Willis also provided the single art for the song.
During the Christmas season of 2010, Pomplamoose performed in several ads in the style of their YouTube videos for Hyundai singing their versions of the Christmas classics such as "O Come All Ye Faithful", "Jingle Bells", "Up on the Housetop" and "Deck the Halls".
In 2011, Pomplamoose began a weekly, interactive, half-hour webcast called “Hey, It's Pomplamoose: A Show about Pomplamoose and Other Things” that airs every Tuesday. After the March 29th show, the webcast has been put on hiatus until their East Coast tour is completed. They will be joined by Ryan Lerman and Carlos Cabrera as they open for fellow YouTube stars OK Go. One of the venues they will be performing at during their tour is Lincoln Hall.

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