The music industry is constantly finding ways to surprise and entertain audiences using different technology, from livestream gigs in the early days of lockdown to documentaries about different artists dotted around the various streaming platforms. An organisation in Toronto has gone a step further by releasing Drowned in the Sun – Lost Tapes of the 27 Club, a compilation of songs created using artificial intelligence.
The 27 Club refers to a group of popular musicians who died tragically aged 27, such as Amy Winehouse or Jimi Hendrix.
Over the Bridge, the organisation behind the project, has composed “new” songs from the likes of Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix and Amy Winehouse using AI software. One set of software listens to hooks, melodies, rhythms and lyrics, then another writes the new hooks, melodies, rhythms and lyrics from the information it learns about the musicians.
It might feel like something out of Black Mirror but this intent for this project is less sinister, as these AI generated songs were created to raise awareness about mental health and the resources musicians, and non-musicians, can turn to.
We might have lost a lot of music legends along the way but in this compilation music fans gain an album that is captivating, thought provoking and it gives a voice to music legends a lot of people miss dearly.
“Through this album, we’re encouraging more music industry insiders to get the mental health support they need, so they can continue making the music we all love for years to come. Because even AI will never replace the real thing.”Over the Bridge
Whilst the artists featured no longer have the chance to make music, this will give avid fans of the artists – and general music lovers alike – a taste of what could have been.
You can stream the Lost Tapes of the 27 Club on their website.
Words by Jen Rose