A few weeks ago, Pup unveiled a new single without releasing, well, the actual single – the Toronto-based punkers teased the lyrics and chords to “Free At Last,” the second single off of their forthcoming album, Morbid Stuff. The only thing missing? The melody. The band challenged fans to guess that part for themselves, requesting covers of what they thought the track might sound like. And the submissions rolled in — a whopping 253 of them.
Today, Pup is dropping “Free At Last” in full this time, but not without showcasing some of the impressive and highly entertaining fan attempts. The video (which they said they shot entirely on a iPhone for a total cost of $25) plays out more like a sing-a-long tutorial, as the punk rockers show listeners how the song really sounds. It’s refreshingly playful and sardonic: “Just cause you’re sad again, it doesn’t make you special,” they snarl over a propulsive drumbeat and crunching guitar riffs. It features vocals from Charly Bliss’ Eva Hendricks and Stranger Things star Finn Wolfhard, who also sings in his own band, Calpurnia.
About the video concept for “Free At Last,” frontman Stefan Babcock said,
The video for “Free At Last” started off as a very, very stupid concept. Before the song was released, we put out the lyrics and a basic chord chart and asked people to record their own versions without hearing the original first. It was a bit of a social experiment. We expected to receive 15 or 20 covers. We received 253. A lot of them were very… interesting… but most of them were actually really good. We listened to every single one front to back (13 hours and 34 minutes), and by the end our brains were puddles of sludge and we couldn’t remember how our own version sounded.
We received hip-hop versions, ska versions, grindcore, EDM, Mariachi, Ukulele, Polka, and piano ballad versions. Incredibly enough, none of the 253 covers sounded like ours. And even more astounding, no two of the covers sounded the same either. The amount of creativity and love put into these things absolutely blew us away.
Watch the video for “Free At Last” above. Morbid Stuff is out April 5 via Little Dipper/Rise Records. Pre-order it here.