Thirdstory Covers “Style”

Hannah McKeen ’19 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Copy Edited By: Lindsay Simmons ’19

Cover group Thirdstory proves that less is more with its sultry acoustic cover of “Style”, one of Taylor Swift’s hit singles off her latest album, 1989. This talented trio, consisting of Elliott Skinner, Richard Saunders, and Ben Lusher, uses jazz influences to put its own spin on one of today’s most popular songs. With rich tone and smooth harmonies, it is no wonder that this video  alone has over 895,000 views on YouTube.

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Thirdstory, from left to right: Richard Saunders, Elliot Skinner, and Ben Lusher. Source:

Often in music the less accompaniment, the more impressive the vocalist. Thirdstory justifies this philosophy in its cover, using only an acoustic guitar and a drum as back up. The instruments heighten the jazzy mood; however, the trio’s voices would sound just as great a cappella. These three gentlemen impressively compose their own pieces, which validates their commitment to producing original music.

The harmonies in each verse create depth for their performance and make this cover even more lovable. You can never have too many harmonies! Each member brings a slightly different vocal tone to the table, yet they come together during the chorus to create the perfect rhythmic flow. Towards the end of the cover, the group slows down the tempo and shows-off intense falsettos that will give anyone goose bumps.

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Thirdstory. Courtesy of

These three gentlemen should be applauded for their ability to express such intense passion with their vocals alone. Their “Style” music video provides a great visual, but all you need are your ears to feel inspired by this piece. Their sharp vocal cutoffs and exceptional dynamics convey this musical passion to the audience. Thirdstory possess a special kind of musicality that creates a great sense of professionalism. Their talent is so raw and their passion so intoxicating.

Thirdstory. Courtesy of
Thirdstory. Courtesy of

About four months after this cover was published, Thirdstory covered Talking Body” by Tove Lo. This cover has only about a third of the YouTube views as the cover of Swift, and perhaps that has something to do with the fact that “Style” is a more drastic change from the original genre. “Talking Body” sounds very similar to the original song, and doesn’t bring anything new to the table. The incredible stylistic alteration in “Style” is what makes it so popular.

Like Thirdstory, countless other artists have crafted their own adaptations of songs off 1989. It is becoming increasingly trendy to dissect Taylor Swift’s pop music into something more simplistic. One of the latest cover projects is by alternative country artist Ryan Adams, who just released an entire cover album of 1989. Adams’s sound is very different, and he uses rock techniques to showcase Swift’s meaningful lyrics with relaxed vocals and layered guitar tracks.

Ryan Adams, 1989. Courtesy of Ryan Adams Twitter account. @theryanadams
Ryan Adams, 1989. Courtesy of Ryan Adams Twitter account. @theryanadams

Artists cover Taylor Swift songs every day; however, Thirdstory and Ryan Adams construct much more than a standard cover. Their complex re-characterization of the rhythms, harmonies, and accompaniment allow their covers to stand apart from the rest.

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