Music Monday – Introduction to Utaite

I’m going to take a stab in the dark that most of you have heard of Vocaloids. Personally, my favourite part of Vocaloid culture is the originality and creativity they allow producers. Unfortunately, sometimes, I’m not such a fan of the distinctive “robo-crooning” sound. That’s where Utaite come in! Utaite are humans that cover Vocaloid songs (mostly, although they do also cover other songs), meaning we have all the creativity of a Vocaloid song with the oftentimes more pleasant sound of a human singer. We’ll be looking at two of my personal favourite covers today – first up, papiyon’s E? Ah, Sou. as covered by Dasoku and 【Ren】.

Now, I have a somewhat blasphemous confession to make – while I like Vocaloids, I’m not a particular fan of Hatsune Miku’s voicebank. So I’m always happy to see her songs covered by another singer or, in this case, two. To say nothing of the fact I’m absolutely in love with both of their voices, and how well they suit this song. These are two guys that need more love!

Unsurprisingly, it’s near impossible for a human to sing certain Vocaloid songs without modifying them. Or sometimes, the Utaite just wants a little bit of creative control so they rearrange the song slightly. One rearrangement I have a particular love for is the Soraru and Lon band cover of Hachi’s Matryoshka.

Personally, I’d take this arrangement over the original in many ways. Neither Soraru nor Lon are particularly technical singers or remarkably strong solo artists, but when they collaborate they actually work very well. Soraru’s remarkable range and chesty, husky sound contrasts very well with Lon’s higher and more energetic voice to make a song that, by all musical standards, shouldn’t be all that good. But is anyway. Thankfully, this pair has no shortage of songs to enjoy!

So there it is – Utaite, the blessing to those of us who can’t bring ourselves to love the Vocaloid sound but can’t surpress our love of the Vocaloid songs. Recently, several Utaite have cracked mainstream music, most notably MARiA, the lead singer of GARNiDELiA, so hopefully our four talented friends from today can follow suit!