Songs From the Lineup: Lindsey Stirling, ‘Beyond the Veil’

Songs from the Lineup dissects tracks that bands are likely to perform when they appear at the Life Is Beautiful music and arts festival this September. Check out previous Songs from the Lineup here.

We’ve always suspected an electric violin could be cool, but no one has proven that suspicion quite like violinist Lindsey Stirling. She may only have two albums, but she’s absolutely taken the world by storm. If you haven’t heard “Shatter Me” on the radio—you know, the song where you thought Lindsey Stirling was the singer and not the flawless violinist behind the melody— you’re just plain missing out.

We first saw the Arizona-born violinist on America’s Got Talent, where judges Piers Morgan and Sharon Osbourne told her that her brand of dubstep violin music wasn’t marketable. (“I don’t think what you’re doing right now is enough to fill a theater in Vegas,” Osbourne said.) They’re probably eating their words for brunch, even now. Stirling’s YouTube channel now has half-a-billion views; she has collaborated with everyone from Echosmith to John Legend to Pentatonix.

Stirling has perfected a flawless fusion of classic violin and dubstep. It’s what makes us love her, along with the enchanting, fairy-like dance moves she makes as she weaves fluidly across the stage, ripping away on the trusty electric violin that’s practically attached to her arm. There’s no one quite like her: Her music is too metaphysical for partying, but the dubstep of her songs just begs to be danced to.

Save for a few oohs and ahhs, “Beyond the Veil” is an instrumental. Yet we can almost imagine that the powerful, rising drumbeat and the bright, weaving melody have words of their own, words that we can call into memory. The shattering, metallic sound that opens the track song sounds like a knife falling to the ground, right before the smooth, resonant sound of the violin envelops the dance floor. In fact, “Beyond the Veil” is a proverbial dance floor in itself, and its melody is the dance of a couple intertwined, stepping and spinning, taking complex steps together across a ballroom. Perhaps they’re dazed by one another, calling up in our minds that near-iconic scene of Keira Knightly and Matthew McFadden in the 2004 film Pride and Prejudice, in which the pair does a Regency-era dance that we couldn’t hope to imitate. Or maybe they’re at war, in a dancing duel, á la Coldplay’s “Princess of China.”

Regardless of your personal interpretation, Stirling’s music makes you feel. It’s authentic, but not raw. Lindsey Stirling is always put together, even though her album is about her very personal struggle with anorexia. Her music may come from a vulnerable place, but that’s what will make her music last. And we know she’ll shine at Life is Beautiful, playing to a huge, packed Las Vegas audience. We can’t wait to see her rock that violin.

Lindsey Stirling is one of the many acts performing at Life Is Beautiful in downtown Las Vegas. For tickets to the September 2015 music and arts festival, go here.

Photo by Michel Buze/Creative Commons

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