Acoustic Covers playlists on Spotify!

As it’s the off-season gig-wise we’ve been amusing ourselves by putting together lots of acoustic covers playlists on Spotify.  In addition to a general Acoustic Covers collection we’ve curated various decade-specific playlists, as well as bringing together acoustic covers of famous artists including The Beatles, Elton John and Coldplay.

We’ve been recording acoustic covers for over ten years now. Ten years!  So we really should know a good acoustic cover when he hear one.  These playlists are made up of acoustic covers by all sorts of artists, from the lowly unsigned (like us!) through to big names like Ryan Adams.  Keep reading to find out about ten of our favourites:

 

Billie Jean – The Civil Wars

Alas, the Civil Wars sadly split up a few years ago. Thankfully they recorded this amazing acoustic cover of Michael Jackson’s 80s classic while they were together.  MJ’s performance of the original vocal has an angry and bitter edge to it, but this version  – with its slow country groove and stunning close harmonies – gives the story a much sadder and desperate tone.

 

Dancing Queen – Erato

Great cover versions will often take a well-worn song and present it to the listener as something fresh and surprising, and this cover of the ABBA classic is the perfect example. We’ve all heard Dancing Queen playing at discos more than enough times, but Erato do a brilliant job of stripping away the “ABBA” from the original to lay bare what a magnificent piece of songwriting it really is.

 

America – First Aid Kit

This amazing live performance of the Simon & Garfunkel classic fully deserved the standing ovation it received from Paul Simon himself, who was sitting spellbound in the front row.  The line “I’m empty and aching and I don’t know why” sounds more moving than ever when they belt it out.

 

Somebody That I Used to Know – Walk off the Earth

The song behind one of the great viral videos stands up without the visuals, although it helps to know that the sound is being made by five people playing one guitar!  It helps having three vocalists perfectly suited to the three sections of the song they each take.  And let’s not forget Beard Guy, who is no longer with us, adding the coup-de-grace with those perfect high pitched “chings”.

 

I Will Survive – Matt Johnson

This falls into the same bracket as Erato’s Dancing Queen cover – i.e. an acoustic cover that makes you prick up your ears and think “wow, this song is actually really good” having been driven mad by the original for as long as you can remember.  And it really grabs the attention hearing a downcast male voice on a tune that is normally sung loudly and defiantly by girls at hen parties!

 

All the Small Things – Cloudsmiff

We’re used to blasting this out All the Small Things the end of the night, so it’s refreshing to hear what is essentially a love song (Blink-182 guitarist Tom DeLonge wrote it for his girlfriend) in a stripped back, slowed down acoustic format. All together now: “works sucks, I know!”

 

Sweet Dreams – Ortopilot

We love Ortopilot and could have chosen any of his splendid acoustic covers for this list.  This one has that lovely rustic “Acoustic Coffee House” vibe in spades, and offers a complete contrast to the electronic 80s Eurythmics original.  It also has a sumptuous layered harmony to boot.  Well done Orto.

 

Dark Horse – Megan Davies

This has to surely be no-one’s favourite Katy Perry song… But when you hear this marvellous acoustic cover you realise it’s actually quite a good tune after all.  All is forgiven, Dark Horse.  Lovely harmonies, especially on the chorus.

 

Let’s Dance – M. Ward

The original evokes images of a glamorous 80s Bowie replete with big suit, blonde hair and tan.  This slowed down, lo-fi acoustic version offers a pleasing contrast to the original, without losing any of its magic. It even has a harmonica solo!

 

We Are the Champions – The Moon Loungers

Okay so last but not least…  Usually you’d expect really famous, stadium sing-a-long songs to be simple 3-chord tunes.  Not We Are The Champions though; you’re looking at 20+ chords, all sorts of diminished and suspended ones… it was great fun pulling it all apart, changing the key so a mere mortal could sing it, and adding a nice lower harmony on the second chorus.  And it’s also quite an ironic song for us to sing, let’s face it….