Tel Aviv-based songstress, composer, and producer Qerenne (Keren Corcos) puts her impressive vocal chops on display with four unique covers of classic jazz songs in Midnight Harmony, her newly released EP. The 27-year-old artist graduated the Rimon Jazz Institute for oustanding jazz musicians and has been active as a leading singer and vocal director in various ensembles and projects, establishing herself as a powerful front-woman on- and off-stage.
More recently, Qerenne has been working on original materials that she produces entirely by herself, at her home studio. Her work is lead by a deep, impressive, and soulful vocal presence. Her melodies, sometimes convoluted and complex, sometimes simple and direct, are accompanied by rich harmonies and diverse influences of jazz, gospel, R&B, soul, and folk. Raised by nostalgia-loving parents, Qerenne reflects her love of 60s and 70s classics in her production, creating tunes that stay true to the timeless sound of these decades while also illuminating them with her modern light and point of view.
Opening the EP is none other than “Sometimes It Snows In April” by Prince. Similar to the original, Qerenne’s renedition is filled with vocal harmonies, but she leans into them a lot further to create a more tender atmosphere, one that will send goosebumps down your spine. Her vocals carry a sweetly affectionate tone as they weave in between the dreamy instrumentals, drawing listeners into a space of peaceful solace. Tackling such a classic can be a difficult feat, but Qerenne excels at crafting an elevated sentimental soundscape. She found comfort in the lyrics of this track and further shares why this cover is a personal “thank you” to one of the most highly-regarded musicians of his generation,
Prince’s untimely passing has marked one of the most significant turns in my life as a music consumer, singer, composer, and someone who purports to hold some kind of musical instrument in her hand. No matter who you are, just listen to Prince, and you’ll be surprised by what he says and how he says it.
As if doing Prince justice in a cover isn’t hard enough, Qerenne also takes on “Emotions” by Mariah Carey, who is known far-and-wide for her impressive vocals and often dubbed “The Queen of Christmas” (yes, you know why). Slowing down the original production and adding in a bit of a doo wop flair, Qerenne creates a slightly more sultry feel with her cover. Rich vocal runs in both the main and backing vocals, and there’s a more ethereal atmospheric energy that exudes from the backing vocals in particular. She also manages to end the track with a impressive octave rise, which is a signature of Mariah Carey.
Next up on the list is “Another Star” by yet another voice of his generation, Stevie Wonder. Qerenne strips down the original disco vibes to match with her angelic vocalizations, creating an entirely acapella environment which proves to be a unique approach to this classic 70s track, an homage to her musical upbringing. Relying on nothing other than her voice, Qerenne makes an impressive case for why she could easily be a standout vocalist of our generation as she shows her stunning vocal range. Lush harmonies weave throughout the track and listeners can sink into the vivid sonic experience with ease.
To close out the EP of covers, Qerenne chooses “No Love Dying” by Gregory Porter to further showcase the richness of her vocals in a similar vein to Gregory. She does quicken the tempo just the slightest, driven by still-ethereal backing vocals. There is a touching nostalgia within her voice during this track, perhaps because of the nature of the lyrics or perhaps because she digs deeper into a soulful soundscape. Whatever the case may be, she signs off the EP with her unique flourishes, leaving quite the impression on listeners anywhere.
Filled with elegant vocals and dreamy modern takes on classical soundscapes, Midnight Harmony is a culmination of the musical background and influences that have made Qerenne who she is today, offering an introduction to her individual artistry. Though it is a short collection of four songs, it makes for an impactful statement that leaves a lasting imprint of the name Qerenne. Throw in some headphones and sink into this stunning collection.