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Lake Street Dive And The Chemistry Of Harmony

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Lake Street Dive And The Chemistry Of Harmony

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Lake Street Dive And The Chemistry Of Harmony

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

This next story starts with one of the hits from 1969.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I WANT YOU BACK")

JACKSON FIVE: (Singing) Oh baby, give me one more chance.

INSKEEP: The song is "I Want You Back" by the Jackson Five. People who weren't even born then know it now. And more than 40 years later, a group called Lake Street Dive transformed it.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I WANT YOU BACK")

LAKE STREET DIVE: (Singing) Oh, oh - baby, give me one more chance. Won't you please let me back in your heart?

INSKEEP: Their video performing this song on a Boston street corner has been viewed more than 2 million times. We are hearing Lake Street Dive throughout today's program.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WHAT ABOUT ME")

LAKE STREET DIVE: (Singing) Well, my oh my - my oh my. Don't you realize?

INSKEEP: We sat with all four members at the sound check before a show in Washington, D.C., and we asked how they write or transform songs. The drummer, Mike Calabrese, says it involves using the human voice.

MIKE CALABRESE: If you put background vocals on anything, people are excited about it.

RACHAEL PRICE: Way more fun.

CALABRESE: Yeah, way more fun. There's something about humans singing in harmony that is just inherently joyful.

LAKE STREET DIVE: (Singing) Before the motion grows, your plan proceeds to say, what about me?

INSKEEP: The lead singer is Rachael Price of Tennessee, who says she grew up singing in harmony.

PRICE: I mean, I have siblings and everybody sang in the family. So I was singing in choirs from a very young age, like, probably being brought to choir rehearsal when I was 2 and 3.

INSKEEP: School choir? - church choir?

PRICE: Both. My dad conducts the high choir, which is our religion. Essentially, we take the Baha'i writings - there are quite a lot of them - and we set them to music.

INSKEEP: An old video shows Rachael Price at age 12, singing at a Baha'i choir.

(SOUNDBITE OF VIDEO)

PRICE: (Singing) You - because your love is the beacon that lights my way...

INSKEEP: In that video, you hear an early version of the style in which Rachael Price now sings with Lake Street Dive on an album called "Bad Self Portraits."

LAKE STREET DIVE: (Singing) You might think you understand what turns a boy into a man. You've got to search alone and worthy.

INSKEEP: And we're hearing Lake Street Dive throughout today's program.

LAKE STREET DIVE: (Singing) But that'll make a lonely girl that has the top and rules the world - A king who chooses his crown over his queen. Before he gets the notion he doesn't need you - before the motion grows, your plan proceeds to say, what about me? - say, what about me? Look at all the heads I'm turning in the street. Well, my oh my - don't you realize...

INSKEEP: This is NPR News.

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