You know that magical moment when vocals meet piano and everything else in the world seems to disappear? Well, as you nurse your chocolate hangover here are five piano versions of songs that do it best*. Stripped back with nothing to hide, these versions pay homage to the beauty of keeping it simple, which is why they rock.
Armed with a piano and vocals, a new perspective on a song can transcend the power of the original.
Thelma Plum – Young In Love
Delighting us with her sophomore EP Monster, Brisbane songstress Thelma Plum is a diamond in the rough. So pretty are her treasure trove of tunes that everyone wants to remix the shit out of them. So, when your weary ears happen upon a stripped back version of single Young In Love featuring just Plum and piano, you feel like simplicity is restored to the world. Sure to pull at those heartstrings, get lost in her honeyed melodic vocals that expose the hurt behind young love.
Daniel Johns – Smells Like Teen Spirit
Voice of our generation, Silverchair’s Daniel Johns who now sings about people getting it on in the desert, recently covered the anthem that knows no generational bounds. Taking to triple J’s Beat the Drum stage, Johns stripped down Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit to a slow and sobering piano ballad. Backed by a harpist, his aching falsetto made for a pretty killer performance, and one completely different to the original. Love it or hate it, you have to admit Johns really owned this seven minute rendition.
Giselle – Silk
Best known for her sugary vocals in Flight Facilities’ Crave You, Sydney quirk-popper Giselle loves to add lots of gooey layers to her music. But, when you come across a version of her work that is untouched by any layering or looping or electronic additives, you realise just how syrupy her vocals alone can be. Stripped of the sugar-coating, her live version of Silk is pure bliss. Warming your soul with her sweetened vocals that trickle down the keyboard backings, get ready to melt away.
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Sia – Chandelier
We all know that blonde-bobbed oddball Sia has one almighty set of lungs on her, and pop epic Chandelier probably showcases this best. But, when you think this tune couldn’t get any more devastatingly powerful, think again. Recently releasing a piano version of her soaring single, she really belts out her emotions in this rendition. Exploding with falsetto as she rips into the chorus, Sia doesn’t hold back from baring all.
Montgomery – Piñata
Gold Coast enigma Montgomery led us down the garden path when she released debut EP New Clear War and used Christina Ricci as her doppelganger. She’s since released a magical piano version of single Piñata, and it’s just bloody breathtaking. Stripped back to reveal a disturbingly beautiful melody and chilling vocals, we’re just gonna come out and say it – this version may be better than the original. With nothing left to hide (but her face), this rework’s vulnerability is so enchanting, it’s sure to cast a spell on all who listen.
*Ed. I’m horrified that Regina Spektor’s rendition of John Lennon’s Real Love isn’t here.
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