Besides all the flurry of activity related to PTX Vol. III and That’s Christmas to Me, some group members still have the time and energy to branch outside of the group and do their own stuff, and garner buzz with their output.

Let’s start with Scott Hoying and Mitch Grassi’s ongoing Superfruit channel–occasionally this duo would treat us with musical numbers like the Beyonce and Miley Cyrus medleys.  Well, they’re at it again, this time condensing Taylor Swift’s 1989 album into a four-minute medley.  Check the stunning results below:

Bassist Avi Kaplan released two videos on his own–the latest is a collaboration with a cappella soloist Peter Hollens called “Black is the Color of My True Love’s Hair”.  It’s an interesting ballad, I have to say…

Earlier, Avi came out with his own version of Meghan Trainor’s hit “All About That Bass”, and the internet press went abuzz about the fact this is a cover version sung by a bass.  But Avi got some assist in this video with sweet soulful harmonies from Mario Jose and Naomi Samilton.  See the fun video below:

As fun and amusing as that video was, with burgers and fries and Ken doll props to underscore the “size doesn’t matter” message of the song, I find the song rather earnest in comparison with another version of the song–Home Free’s version.  I know my post from last January comparing between Home Free and Pentatonix in one-on-one battles still get some Home Free fans up in arms until now, well, here is a case where I actually preferred the Home Free version.  For me, Home Free’s version had more LOL moments and interesting treats, such as Tim “Loki” Foust moving up from bass to tenor in the first portion of the song, then the wacky rave-up at the end.

Now speaking of Home Free, they also got into the Christmas mix as they released a Christmas album called Full of Cheer with their version of “Angels We Have Heard on High”.  It’s sweet, solemn, and set in church.  It’s nice to hear Rob “Babydaddy” Lundquist taking the lead here, and the harmonies are lovely and buttery smooth.  It’s also done in a more formal choral arrangement, so we get to hear Adam Rupp sing instead of beatbox.  I know Pentatonix has a version of this song but I will not make comparisons this time and I’ll just enjoy this version in its own terms:

On a final note, I also like to share a video of another popular a cappella group, Straight No Chaser, as they have released a song with Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars and the voice of Anna in Frozen) with a timely original song called “Text Me Merry Christmas”.  It’s a fun treat so check it out.







  1. Had read your PTX vs HF one-on-one ‘battle’…Both groups’ other (incl. instrumental) talents/backgrounds make them even more interesting, but as you know, there are lots of other great a cappella groups out there, for people to discover/enjoy/follow regularly…
    People expect diff. things from their fav. groups, so will gravitate towards their favs. for their own reasons, so I say: 1) Be glad a cappella’s getting more love these days=mainstream, 2) They’re starting to get better pay (although it’s done for love of the genre), 3) Basses are getting more (deservedly so) respect/love (we still love tenors/baritones), 4) getting to see their personalities, 5) getting more airtime on tv/radio/newspapers, as a legitimate THING!, 6) people are thinking more, before comparing, less: ‘why sing pop only’, ‘arrange more like so & so’, ‘do more than just country’, ‘dance more’, ‘don’t care for techno’..You love what you love, follow those you love, don’t care for one genre? watch you favs., don’t put any a cappella down..We’re still a small part of the music industry, lift each other up!
    A cappella groups have cross-promoted each other for years/many cross friendships/collaborations/moving on to diff. groups/a cappella networking/sharing fun concerts, etc…
    My fav. is Home Free, but watch other groups all the time…Good is good…Thx all..Just my thoughts..
    P.S. Joseph, for fun, watch Home Free Adam Rupp Ridiculous Talent (insane clean beatboxing)..
    Oh, that brings m e to: 7) All the beat boxers who add to all the great a cappella vocal sounds – kudos!

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