One part folk-pop, one part sketch group, and one part quirky musical experimenters, Canadian band Walk Off the Earth formed in 2006 in Burlington, Ontario.
Made up of multi-instrumentalists Ryan Marshall, Gianni Luminati, Mike Taylor, Joel Cassady, and Sarah Nicole Blackwood, the band has become known for its innovative cover songs, which feature the group members trading instruments with one another midsong or elaborate one-take performances where the song is built piece by piece by a single member playing every instrument. Though Walk Off the Earth have released two albums, 2007's Smooth Like Stone on a Beach and 2010's My Rock, their real success would come by way of YouTube, where the band had been steadily building a fan base with covers of Adele
, and fellow Internet celebrities the Gregory Brothers
. The group started to take off in 2012 after its cover of Gotye
's "Somebody That I Used to Know," performed by all the bandmembers simultaneously playing one guitar, received 70 million views in two months, earning Walk Off the Earth not only praise from the original artist, but a contract with Columbia Records
, which released R.E.V.O. (an acronym of the band's motto, "Realize Every Victory Outright") early in 2013. Its lead single "Red Hands" hit the Top Ten in Canada, while the album reached number seven on the country's albums chart and earned the band Juno Award nominations for Pop Album of the Year and Group of the Year. After on-and-off touring throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe over the next two years, and a holiday EP titled A Walk Off the Earth Christmas in late 2014, the stadium-friendly Sing It All Away arrived in mid-2015. ~ Gregory Heaney, Rovi