Nirvana‘s vibe was mostly dark and depressing with a side order of cynical humor. That was partly due to lead singer Kurt Cobain’s intense, downbeat charisma and his lyrics, but also because the band often favored minor keys.
Music in a minor key is sad, bleak, eerie by definition. So someone decided to take Nirvana’s signature hit, “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” and digitally tune it up into a bubbly-sounding major key.
It’s the iconic “Teen Spirit” video everyone remembers, but the change in key completely transforms it into something that seems lighthearted, goofy, and earnest.
It’s as if for one song Nirvana suddenly morphed into the Spin Doctors.