Veteran alternative rock band The Choir has released a reimagined version of OneRepublic's chart-busting 2013 single "Counting Stars." The Choir puts its stamp on the song by subverting OneRepublic's club-friendly pulse.
"The original was so stunning already," says Michaels. "It was a daunting challenge to do something different with it that holds up."
"I thought about the celestial angle," says Daugherty. "The opening is full of swirling guitar, with all of these layers and weird backward lines happening. I was picturing the chaotic haze of the universe, and the beauty of it."
"Our version is more chill," says Hindalong. "My girlfriend's teen daughter said it sounds like we did the nighttime version. I like that."
Daugherty's wistful tenor is propelled into an emotive, sky-sailing supplication that frames the scene of a struggling young couple yearning for the means to find peace of mind. "No more counting dollars, we'll be counting stars," sings Daugherty. The story connected with Hindalong as confessional, revealing, and ultimately poetic.
"I like that Ryan Tedder's lyric is mysterious and deals in contrasts," says Hindalong. "It's despairing and hopeful. What came to my mind is 'money can't buy you love,' so I immediately connected it with the classic Beatles tune. I also related because most of my songs are directed to one person. Listening to 'Counting Stars,' it feels truthful and transparent. It's like overhearing a private conversation, although you may be unaware of the context."
For a band of its vintage (and one not known for performing other artists' songs), it's interesting that the Choir has chosen covers rooted in its past and present. There's a sense that the band has a collective ear for the classics but finds joy in discovery. "We're always listening to new things," says Michaels. "I'm a music seeker," adds Daugherty.
OneRepublic's video for "Counting Stars" has reached nearly three billion views on YouTube. If the Choir can tap a fraction of that staggering audience, it will be a jolt to the band's visibility. To that end, the group has recently completed principal shooting for their own "Counting Stars" clip, enlisting OneRepublic creative director and videographer Brody Harper. Expect to see the video early in 2020.