Who doesn’t bloody love unplugged covers? Finger-picked melodies and soft vocals are pretty wonderful additions to any piece of music, but when a pre-recorded track is stripped back to its framework, that’s something really special. Ten Tonnes’ new acoustic EP is an absolute gift. Unbelievably easy on the ears and oozing with good feelings, it’s like he’s bottled that lazy morning lie-in feeling and labelled it an EP.
Covering his own originals was a very clever thing to do, as great as a different take on someone else’s track can be, only the original artist really knows the ins and outs of their own song. Ten tonnes has taken his best tracks and ripped away any hint of the recording process. ‘Subtle changes’, ‘cracks between’ and ‘born to lose’ stripped back to their bare bones is something else. Quiet adjustments to tempo and intonation have put these tracks on a whole new level.
‘Subtle changes’ is hands down one of the very best acoustic reworkings of a song out there. As solid as the original is, it simply doesn’t compare. The acoustic track is passionate and sincere – the tempo is ever so subtly slower, enough to make the vocals that bit more prominent, and in turn, adding a rawness to the lyrics and vocals. The melody part in the verse sounds hand picked and slightly muted, lending itself to the unrefined feel of the reworked version. Leading into the open notes, the contrast makes the chorus sound so unsheltered and full of feeling.
Cracks between has an entirely different feel altogether. The main riff still cleverly tied into the chords, but gone is the coarse roar of the electric guitar, and in its place a much more lighthearted guitar part. The acoustic version of this track sounds ever so slightly like Blossoms’ ‘my favourite room’, with its prominent strumming pattern and vaguely haunting vocal harmonies.
It’s a rare that a song can just straight-out evoke a smile in me, but Ten Tonnes’ latest version of ‘born to lose’ is so inexplicably feel-good that it did just that. The kind of track when it comes to the chorus will make you drop what you’re doing and dance (although I screwed up my makeup this morning so I wouldn’t recommend playing this whilst you’re getting ready.) The more simplistic sound to the guitar puts a spotlight on Ten Tonnes’ vocals, an absolute asset to his music, and when so unrefined his voice has a boyish charm that adds to the carefree feeling that oozes from this track.
A good unplugged cover is a rarity, but three of them at once is like striking gold. Ten Tonnes’ acoustic EP is hopefully the first of many to come, because stripped back to an acoustic guitar and raw vocals he possesses something absolutely captivating.