Or "tavernwave," if you will.
In 2014, there were 1,264 genres of music, according to the website Every Noise at Once, created by engineer and data alchemist Glenn McDonald. By 2020? Over 5,000. Of those 5,000 genres, one is enjoying a moment—and frankly, has been since April 20, 2020, when YouTuber Cornelius Link posted Astronomia (Medieval Style), a medieval cover of the popularly-memed Tony Ig track, Astronomia.
From there, the subgenre took off on YouTube, with Cornelius Link posting additional “medieval-style” covers of Foster the People’s "Pumped Up Kicks" and Haddaway's "What Is Love". In May 2020, YouTube account Hildegard von Blingin’ (playfully named for St. Hildegard of Bingen, “one of the most important composers of the Medieval Period”) sprung onto the scene with a cover of Cornelius Link’s cover of "What Is Love"—with one important addition: lyrics.
Von Blingin' “translates” modern lyrics into more medieval language, and that, combined with her lovely voice, has earned her over 771,000 subscribers, even with only 10 videos. After all, who can resist a cover of Lana del Rey’s "Summertime Sadness" that goes, “Kiss me once before thou goest/ Summertide sorrow”?
The genre has slowly made its way onto Spotify, with playlists like Medieval Style/BARDCORE pulling in 20,000 likes, and bands like Stary Olsa, Graeme James, Stantough, and Magentium drawing in nearly half-a-million listeners collectively. Call it medieval covers, bardcore, or even tavernwave—it might be here to stay. From one plague era to another, thanks!
Have you listened to bardcore? Tell us in the comments which song you'd love to hear in medieval cover style.