NMT COUNTDOWN: Top 10 Women’s Uptempo Songs Perfect For Your Cabaret

It’s back to school season and The Green Room is looking out for you. All this month, the NMT Countdown series is bringing you a guide to the best-selling songs on NMT from the last year. Are you planning a cabaret and looking for the perfect stand-alone song? Are you a soprano looking for audition material that shows off your classical skills? The NMT Countdowns will guide you to some of the best songs NMT has to offer. PLUS: for today only, get 20% off the songs on this list with the code NMTCOUNTDOWN. Happy singing!

I’ve often been asked by friends for recommendations of up-tempo songs for their cabarets. Each time, I would put on my headphones, listen to every NMT song that I could, and compile a list for each person. Now I offer that same service to you. What follows is a list of the top 10 bestselling NMT women’s uptempo songs from the past year that are great for your cabaret set!

10. “Don’t Say Another Word” – Salzman and Cunningham

If your set needs a mellow song but you don’t want to sing another ballad, this song from Next Thing You Know is a great choice. With its sweet, sincere lyrics matched with music that alternates between smooth and driving, this song contrasts perfectly with your other uptempo numbers without slowing things down. 

Watch this video on YouTube.

9. “Hand in Hand” – Kerrigan-Lowdermilk

Depending on the theme of your cabaret, this song is an ideal opener, especially if you’re performing a cabaret about relationships. This song would set the tone for the rest of the evening, and it would definitely be the one your audience would go home humming – not to mention it allows you to show off your scatting skills. 

Watch this video on YouTube.

8. “In Short” – Pasek and Paul

This song from Edges is about a less than ideal break-up. We then get to hear the singer describe the hilarious ways she wishes she could have revenge. With its sarcastic tone, this song is perfect if you find yourself in a typical musical comedy song rut. Pair it with some banter about a messy break-up of your own, and you’ve got a hit. 

Watch this video on YouTube.

7. “Calm” – Adam Gwon

Every once in a while during your cabaret set you need to show off. Nothing is better for this purpose than patter songs. “Calm” from Ordinary Days gives you a chance to show how well you can sing wordy songs in addition to letting you show off your comedic chops.

Watch this video on YouTube.

6. “My Party Dress” – Kerrigan-Lowdermilk

Performing your cabaret sometimes allows you to sing songs you otherwise wouldn’t be able to. “My Party Dress” offers a great chance for some great character acting. Throw in some stories about your own childhood antics and the audience will love it. 

Watch this video on YouTube.

5. “Freedom” – Kerrigan-Lowdermilk

Who doesn’t love belting with their best friend? This song from The Unauthorized Autobiography of Samantha Brown would allow you to bring one of your talented friends onstage. With its sweet melodies and driving rhythm, this song about two friends on a road trip is a great choice for your cabaret and would give the audience a chance to hear you sing with someone else. 

Watch this video on YouTube.

4. “The Text Message Song” – Drew Gasparini

This one is perfect for some quick comic relief. Drew Gasparini’s song about a text message break-up is clever and has room for your own clever banter. Perhaps some of your own text message horror stories?

Watch this video on YouTube.

3. “Joey is a Punk Rocker” – Joe Iconis

Everyone has experienced the feeling of having a crush on someone they shouldn’t. This song by Joe Iconis perfectly paints the picture of a young girl in love with a punk rock musician. It would fit nicely into your cabaret as a potential finale. Its energetic refrain would be ideal for sending your audience home on a high note. 

Watch this video on YouTube.

2. “Lost in the Brass” – Gaby Alter

“Lost in the Brass” from the musical Band Geeks works perfectly as a stand-alone song. It tells the story of a flutist whose sound is always buried by the brass section. This later becomes a metaphor for her own social insecurities. With sharp, witty lyrics and a catchy, up-beat tune, this song is great for your cabaret, especially if you were a band nerd in high school. 

Watch this video on YouTube.

1. “Blue Hair” – Joe Iconis

What at first seems like a shallow little song about dying one’s hair quickly becomes a heartfelt song about self-confidence. It isn’t as long as some of the other selections on this list, so it’s especially great between longer numbers. 

Watch this video on YouTube.

Click here to stream today’s NMT Countdown playlist. Remember, the code NMTCOUNTDOWN is good for these songs today only, so if you’re planning to sing an uptempo song this fall, today’s the day to grab this deal!  

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