Tuesday, November 11, 2014

I Heart #HollensMusic

(Disclosure: this post is promoting 2 of my favorite artists, and there are links to their information. However, I am NOT getting any kind of payment for this, so, please, read on. You won’t regret it.)

I have always loved music from before I was even born. I used to play 3 different instruments. You could say maybe it was expected. I mean, both my parents play piano, one plays tenor sax, and the other plays alto sax, so I was kind of born with the genes. I started piano lessons when I was 5, clarinet when I was 13 and flute when I was 15. But then I started college, and promptly quit practicing, so I now play 0 instruments.

However, I have been singing from day one, and I love to hear good singers. My dad sings tenor, and my mom sings a solid alto. I was raised on Julie Andrews, Bing Crosby, Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, and Jodie Benson.

Then one day, a little over 2 years ago, I discovered the genius known as Peter Hollens.

Well, technically, I discovered the genius of Lindsey Stirling first. She plays the violin and dances dubstep at the same time, and makes some of the best music videos around. For her hauntingly beautiful Skryim theme, though, she collaborated with this guy by the name of Peter Hollens.

I remember hearing the track come on my Pandora, and I kept wondering what in the world the song was about. (I’m not a gamer; I’m hand-and-eye-uncoordinated.) So, I interrupted my dishes to go take a peek. This was the best dishes-interruption of my whole life.

When the Pandora track ended, I had to go find the music video. WOW.

I was so intrigued by the fact that ONE GUY could sing all those different parts that I had to find out more. Thirty minutes of YouTube searching later, I was HOOKED. And in the last 2 years, I have gone from being hooked to being a diehard—and I mean DIEHARD—fan of #HollensMusic.

In my humble opinion, Peter and Evynne Hollens are the experts in a cappella music.

Let me tell you about Peter.

He has the training. He graduated with a Bachelor of Music from University of Oregon.

He has the experience. He co-founded Oregon’s first collegiate a cappella group, On the Rocks, while at UO. The award-winning group also competed on NBC’s reality competition “The Sing-Off”.

And, he has the chops. His voice covers almost 4 octaves, and every part he sings is perfect. He has a pleasant soprano, his bass really resonates, his baritone is beautifully clear, and his tenor is just rich. The harmony in the completed tracks is the tightest I’ve ever heard. And not only does he have a good singing voice, but he can make just about any percussion sound with that same voice or his hands. 

Peter can also sing a song from just about ANY genre. How many artists do you know that can equally nail the World of Warcraft theme and a Hunter Hayes song?! He sings pop, country, opera, Broadway, folk music, video game themes, foreign languages, film songs, holiday music, blues/jazz…you name it, Peter Hollens has probably covered it.

Then there’s Evynne Hollens. 

She is Peter’s wife and his musical match. They met in college because they both led a cappella groups. 

Evynne’s group, Divisi, has also won numerous awards, as well as inspired the book—and subsequent wildly popular film—Pitch Perfect. She has worked with a cappella in many different ways since graduating from University of Oregon. One of those ways is the Women’s A Cappella Association, which hosts SheSings, an annual festival celebrating women’s mark on the a cappella field. Her 3 octave soprano is no less than stellar, and her harmony is as perfect as Peter’s. 

Instead of pursuing a singing career for herself, Evynne chooses to share her talent through teaching and promoting women’s a cappella through WACA and other venues. But she also has her own YouTube channel, where she sings covers and shares vlogs about her crazy life. Every one of her covers is wonderfully pleasant to listen to, and her vlogs are funny, relatable, and easy to watch. (The best feature is the newest Hollens, baby Ashland. He's a doll.)

But I think my favorite thing about the Hollens’, though, is their personalities. They are two of the kindest souls on earth, and both Peter and Evynne are always—and I mean ALWAYS—so humble and grateful to their fans. Peter has been on national TV and Evynne’s a cappella arrangement of “Yeah!” (by Usher) was featured in the Season 3 finale of Glee! Yet they haven't let their fame change their attitudes towards their audience. YouTube comments and fan art mean more to them than a huge recording contract.

Oh, but did I mention they have that, too? Yeah, Peter just signed with Sony Masterworks. Who just happens to also have Yo-Yo Ma, The Piano Guys, Kristin Chenoweth, Placido Domingo, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.... The best thing about this is that Peter's goal has never been to get a label. He worked hard to produce and promote his work on his own and make music that his fans love. In return, he got an offer from the big guys. 

Peter has also been rewarded with his first album under a major label. It's brilliant. You can get it from iTunes or from Loudr. (I'll explain that below.)

Here is the rest of their links and information:





You can purchase their music from iTunes here and here; or you can purchase songs from Loudr, which is cheaper, and gives more back to the artist. You can also support Peter and/or Ev directly through Patreon, an innovative website that helps artists make the music that their fans want. Check that out here and here

So...enough of that. I'll let their work speak for itself now. :-)



Part of Your World (The Little Mermaid)
Let It Go (Frozen)
Happy (Despicable Me 2)

Peter & Evynne:

A Thousand Years (Twilight: Breaking Dawn)
Disney Teen Beach Medley (Teen Beach Movie)
Cups (Pitch Perfect)
Love is an Open Door (Frozen)


Falling Slowly (Once)
Game of Thrones Theme
The Rains of Castamere (Game of Thrones)
Jai Ho (Slumdog Millionaire)
Star Wars Medley
Epic Disney Medley
Pirates Medley (Pirates of the Caribbean)
Misty Mountains (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey)
I See Fire (Ed Sheeran, The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug)
May It Be (The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring)
Gollum's Song (The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers)
The Edge of Night/Pippin's Song (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King)
Into the West [straight a cappella] (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King)
Into the West [a cappella w/ solo violin] (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King)



Defying Gravity (Wicked)
Somewhere (West Side Story)
Girl in 14G (by the writer of Thoroughly Modern Millie)

Peter & Evynne:

Seasons of Love (Rent)
Les Miserables Medley
Les Miserables Medley (Live at Vidcon 2013)
Phantom of the Opera Medley
Stars and the Moon (Songs for a New World)
Louder Than Words (Tick, Tick... Boom!)


Who I'd Be (Shrek: The Musical)
Wicked Medley



Fields of Gold (Sting)

Peter & Evynne:

Somebody That I Used to Know (Gotye)


Tiny Dancer (Elton John)
Fields of Gold (Sting)
Pompeii (Bastille)
Pumpin' Blood (NONONO)
On Top of the World (Imagine Dragons)
It's Time (Imagine Dragons)
Home (Phillip Phillips)
Dark Side (Kelly Clarkson)
Don't Stop Me Now (Queen)
Turn Up the Music (Chris Brown)
Without You (David Guetta/Usher)
Moves Like Jagger (Maroon 5)



Cry Me a River

Peter & Evynne:

Georgia on My Mind (Peter's take)
Georgia on My Mind (Ev's take)


Not Over You (Gavin DeGraw)
Turning Tables/Someone Like You (Adele)
Lullaby (Billy Joel)
I Won't Give Up (Jason Mraz)
It Will Rain (Bruno Mars)


Peter & Evynne:

Both Sides Now (Joni Mitchell)


The Water is Wide
Down By the Salley Gardens
Scarborough Fair
Poor Wayfaring Stranger
She Moved Through the Fair


Peter & Evynne:

A Boy and a Girl (Eric Whitacre)


Brave (Josh Groban)
Ave Maria


Peter & Evynne:

Need You Now (Lady Antebellum)


Everybody's Got Somebody But Me (Hunter Hayes)
19 You & Me (Dan and Shay)



Brave (Sara Bareilles) [she sang this 8 months pregnant!!]
Try (Colbie Caillat)
Photograph (Ed Sheeran)


What's My Name/Only Girl (Rihanna)
Firework (Katy Perry)
Born This Way (Lady Gaga)
Pray (Justin Bieber)
Some Nights (Fun)
Lights (Ellie Goulding)
Wide Awake (Katy Perry)
We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together (Taylor Swift)
The Lazy Politicians Song (Bruno Mars parody)
iPhone vs. Droid Song
Gotta Be You (One Direction)
Young Girls (Bruno Mars)
Carry On (Fun)
Dark Horse (Katy Perry)
Story of My Life (One Direction)
Photograph (Ed Sheeran)
Boy Band Parody


Peter & Evynne:

World of Warcraft Medley


Skyrim Theme
Want You Gone (Portal)
The Parting Glass (Assassin's Creed 4)
Baba Yetu (Civilization IV)

Original Songs

Peter & Evynne:

Fall in Love


Double Down
Take It Slow



Santa Claus is Coming to Town


Silent Night
The Christmas Song
O Holy Night


  1. Dude. Wow. I love Lindsey Stirling, and I loved the theme that they did together, but totally, thanks for doing my homework for me! :) :) I had no idea he do so much. And that's the most adorable thing ever, how he married his wife and they're both super talented musicians. ♥ This was a different post than I was expecting, but something PERFECT to get me through the rest of the week. Many, many thanks!

    1. Aw, shucks, thanks. :) Yep, Lindsey Stirling is so amazing in her own field, but I love singing, so I connected more with the Hollens. I really got into their work once I joined their Fb fangroup, the HollensFamily. Everyone there is so sweet and nice, and both Peter and Ev jump in from time to time. He's already promised to cover the end song "The Last Goodbye" from Battle of Five Armies. I'm pretty excited about that. :) :)

  2. I really like Hollens too! And Lindsey Stirling (her new western song may or may not get a blog post from me if I find the time). And I adore The Piano Guys.

    Just so you know.

    1. Oh, I'm so glad. I love convincing people of the wonderfulness of Hollens. And it shows how little I actually *follow* Lindsey, because I didn't know she had a Western song. Going to look that up now.... And I don't know who doesn't adore TPG. They're just plain good.