The foundation of most songs begins with an acoustic guitar, so it’s only natural that many bands release acoustic renditions at some point. These toned down versions allow a band to show off their creativity and break down their classic anthems to the bare bones, giving them new life. From hardcore to pop punk, this list compiles some of our favorite acoustic renditions of original songs.
Speaking of transforming songs, Silverstein’s acoustic rendition of “Massachusetts” may be one of, if not the, best hardcore acoustic releases. While their usual style is full of heavy guitars and screaming vocals, this version is much softer and gives a chance for Shane Told to really show what he can do vocally.
Anarbor—“Passion For Publication”
Let’s get real—Slade Echeverria can sing anything and make it sound good. So it’s really no surprise that an acoustic take on this song would perfect. Not to mention, the song was recorded for the Take Action Compilation vol. 9, an annual CD put together by Hopeless Records’ non-profit organization, Sub City.
Real Friends—“Anchor Down”
Real Friends have released a couple of acoustic EPs within the span of their career, so they know what it takes to make one shine. Don’t think for a moment that just because it’s acoustic that the energy and the passion of the original were stripped away. Though the instruments are toned down, Dan Lambton’s voice takes control, giving depth and rawness to the track with every crack and imperfection.
State Champs—“Simple Existence”
There truly aren’t enough full acoustic albums out there. Thankfully, State Champs transformed all the songs from their debut album, The Finer Things, to acoustic on The Acoustic Things. The songs on the latter are just as catchy as the original versions, and are guaranteed to make you cry on a long roadtrip, every time.
Acoustic or not, Sugarcult’s “Memory” is a classic emo anthem. This early millennium hit brings together the gritty vocals of Tim Pagnotta with bare guitar strings. Throw it on when you’re feeling low-key sad and revel in the feels.
Just when you think LIGHTS can’t get any more talented and charming, the acoustic version of “Banner” comes along and slaps you in the face. It’s as if her voice was made to complement an acoustic guitar. She always sounds great with her classic, electronic sound but there’s something magical about all the songs on Siberia (Acoustic), most especially this one.
Mayday Parade—“Three Cheers For Five Years”
At first listen, there’s not much that can be done to “Three Cheers For Five Years” to make it better than the original, but the stripped down, acoustic version somehow tops it. Though Mayday Parade’s lineup has changed through the years, there’s truly nothing more beautiful than hearing Derek Sanders and original member Jason Lancaster harmonizing over a piano.
The Wonder Years—“Dynamite Shovel (Campfire Version)”
The Wonder Years bring the true spirit of camping to life through “Dynamite Shovel (Campfire Version).” The very raw cut of the song brings listeners into the room and makes them feel like they’re shoulder to shoulder with the band. Hopefully, the next time the Wonder Years go camping, they’ll bring us along for the fun.
PVRIS—“White Noise (The Empty Room Sessions)”
Acoustic songs not only bring new life to original hits, but also expose the true essence of a singer’s voice. As if we didn’t already know what Lynn Gunn is capable of vocally, she steps up to the plate again and performs an incredible, stripped down rendition of “White Noise” in this special Empty Room Session.
A Day To Remember—“Another Song About The Weekend”
Though A Day To Remember have perfected their unique style of hardcore, they’ve also perfected the art of acoustic. “Another Song For The Weekend” still contains all of the fast guitar parts present in the original without missing a note.