Episode 4 of No Cover, Hit Parader‘s unsigned band competition show hosted on the Sumerian Records YouTube channel, debuted last night (May 4) and featured contestant Ada Pasternak, who wowed the panel of judges with her intimate song performance where she played a violin like a guitar, which Halestorm‘s Lzzy Hale loved.
While the panel of judges — Alice Cooper, Hale, Bush‘s Gavin Rossdale, Animals as Leaders‘ Tosin Abasi and alt-rock singer Bishop Briggs — mostly lean toward the rock sphere, No Cover has welcomed artists who represent a wide range of musical styles as they all aim to identify contestants with the most promise and potential to be a breakout star, with a seriously sweet prize package up for grabs.
Taking the stage before the panel, armed with her violin, sentimental lyrics and pristine voice, Pasternak’s unique indie vibe on her song “Grow Older” is anchored by prickly melodies as she uses her fingers to pluck the violin’s strings, which actually sounds a bit like a ukulele. In the search for something with a true sense of singular identity, this unorthodox approach to the violin caught the judges’ attention, as did her voice.
“Personally, for me, I might like the lyric a little darker, a little more twisted, but I think I’m just in awe of your courage to come out here and sing like that,” says Rossdale. Hale immediately follows, “I agree, I like having a little bit of the dirt with the beauty, but I think it’s very profound. And I love that you play the violin like that. You play it like a guitar and that’s also one of my favorite colors for a guitar.”
Cooper is particularly struck by what he dubbed a “tricky little melody line,” which he feels was “really good.”
Meanwhile, Briggs’ mind is immediately flooded with imagination as she pictures Pasternak performing in a cave with lots of natural reverb before deciding that perhaps a cathedral would be the more ideal setting to capture that sonic environment.
“I like that it’s intimate. I agree with the bravery,” adds Abasi. “You’re not backed up by a bunch of stuff — there’s an intimacy to it and there’s a fragility and I think people will connect with that. I’m curious to know what your album would sound like,” he continues, inviting curiosity about the “width” of her songwriting scope. “I think you’re doing something unique and it’s relatable,” he concludes.
Watch Pasternak’s performance starting at the 5:23 mark in the video further down the page.
Pasternak was pitted against indie group Beachwood Coyotes, alt-rockers Saint Monroe and hard rock outfit Mirror Lake, but we’re not going to spoil the judge’s decision, nor what the three-person Mercy Council (who have the power to give artists who did not win their round a second chance) elected to do.
For that, you’ll have to watch the full episode directly below. New episodes are released weekly on Wednesday nights.