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Tempe's Simply Three Cover Janelle Monáe With the Help of Her Backing Musicians

If you have neither heard nor heard of Simply Three, you really ought to start paying attention, or, at the very least, give them a listen. Thousands of others certainly have, as the Tempe-based classical crossover trio, comprised of three local string musicians, has gotten a lot of praise in recent months for their fantastic instrumental versions of well-known pop and rock songs.

In the last year alone, Simply Three has earned a ton of attention (and hundreds of thousands if YouTube views) from covering such hitmakers as OneRepublic, Pharrell Williams, and Imagine Dragons, each time transposing pop bombast into joyous string music in artful fashion.

The trio's latest release, a mashup cover of Janelle Monáe's "Cold War" and "Tightrope" that was recently released, is certainly no exception. And, in an interesting twist, the song features two of Monáe's backup musicians.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.