A big current trend is electronic acts. A big long-standing trend is artists doing acoustic versions of their material. So New Zealand electronic artists The Naked and Famous doing an acoustic versions album, A Still Heart, is not a big surprise. What is surprising is how much the songs not only differ but also stand out, when stripped down.
The record opens with the title track, an acoustic mash-up of The Naked and Famous’ “A Stillness” and “A Heart Like Ours”, and there is also an acoustic cover of Massive Attack’s “Teardrop”, but the record is basically just stripped versions of already released material. However, taking out the heavy use of electronics really changes songs like “Last Forever”, turning a thumper into beauty, or closer “Young Blood”, a sweet finish of what was originally dance.
The ‘dance’ has definitely been taken out of The Naked and Famous’ songs, but replaced with emotional power that most lacked in their original forms. Even strong originals like “All of This” and “Girls Like You” are made more powerful by stripping down.
Amid all of the electronica acts around today, The Naked and Famous couldn’t help but struggle to stand out, despite their success. But A Still Heart showcases them in a whole new way, one that stands on its own (and might even be better).