If you read any of my stuff, then you know that I love fast punk rock tempos, pop-influenced melodies, electric guitars, and “sick beats”. But sometimes, it’s nice to sit back and listen to something a little bit more mellow, with some songs being solely acoustic guitar. There’s something about the best acoustic guitar sounds that have the ability to make a song seem happy and sad, sometimes at the same time.
This collection of songs features songs that are exclusively acoustic, simply because there were way too many good acoustic versions of songs to narrow it down to just ten (those songs will serve as honorable mentions in my Spotify playlist linked below!). So without further ado, here are my top ten picks for best acoustic songs.
1.) Love Your Friends, Die Laughing by Man Overboard
This song has nostalgia written all over it. It has that perfect “campfire song” vibe to it, which makes it such an enjoyable and uplifting song. The lyrics talk about being in the moment.
“I left my heart with my phone in my center console / I left my feelings with my wallet and my keys.”
2.) Cherry by Moose Blood
While “Cherry” uses an electric guitar as opposed to an acoustic, it still has a soft, acoustic feel to it. This is one of Moose Blood’s slowest, remorseful sounding tunes. The song is about lead singer Eddy Brewerton wrote this song about his wife and step-daughter, with the lyrics discussing his love of being a father and coping with the fact that he isn’t her real father.
“She’s not mine and she never will be / I’m reminded every day / She’s not mine and it fucking kills me / She won’t look at me that way.”
3.) I Don’t Mind by Defeater
This classic love song is beautiful next to the lone acoustic guitar. It’s the perfect love song as the lyrics reminisce on their time together. It’s sappy and uplifting all at the same time.
“And I don’t mind / If we take our time / No, I don’t mind.”
4.) Timmy Bowers by Modern Baseball
This one is pretty much guaranteed to bring the waterworks. While the song itself hovers around two minutes and the lyrics pretty much repeat the same phrase, the lead singer’s haunting voice mixed with the melancholy melody brings up emotions that I never knew lived inside me.
“Wait a minute / cause I’ve been living more like a piece of shit without you / and I’ve been spending all your past killings / trying to drink my way out of this groove.”
5.) Clairvoyant by The Story So Far
This gut-wrenching tune is a surprising release from a heavily aggressive pop punk band in the scene today. Parker Cannon’s usually outside-voice is lowered and showcases not only his hidden voice but also their lyrical talent. The song discusses the downfall of a relationship, a topic that hits home for a lot of heartbroken lovers.
“Don’t paint me black / when I used to be golden.”
6.) Leave You In The Dark by State Champs
I can’t imagine what this song would be like if it had been crafted to be plugged in and amplified. State Champs are excellent at sending messages in their fast paced pop punk, however this slow jam fits perfectly with the mellow lyrics. The lyrics follow a couple that aims to be different despite their struggles.
“And I know I don’t say it / but I love you too / and it’s starting to make sense.”
7.) Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) by Green Day
Of course I had to include this classic off of Green Day’s 1997 album “Nimrod”. As an adolescent, this song really resonated with me as I’m sure it has with almost everybody else that’s heard this classic tune. It’s nostalgic, heart-wrenching, and bittersweet all at the same time.
“It’s something unpredictable / but in the end is right / I hope you had the time of your life.”
8.) If It Means A Lot to You by A Day To Remember
Emotions run rampant through this slower melody from post-hardcore band A Day To Remember. The lyrics follow a couple that is separated because of the man going on tour with the band. Guest vocalist Sierra Kay stars as the female voice in the second verse and throughout the third as the two vocalists sing back and forth with each other. While it’s unsure how things turn out, we’re rooting for the couple to last.
“If you can wait till I get home / then I swear to you that we can make this last.”
9.) You by The Pretty Reckless
Any Gossip Girl fans here? Yup, that’s Little J from the CW’s hit show. This slow track is accompanied by soft drumming and violins in the background. Paired with Taylor Momsen’s delightfully soft voice, a somber feeling rises from the lyrics as she sings about loving a person that doesn’t love her back.
“You don’t want me, no / You don’t need me / Like I want you, oh / Like I need you.”
10.) Riding In Your Car by Mat Kerekes
Mat Kerekes, the lead singer of the band Citizen, released this solo album “Luna and the Wild Blue Everything” in 2016 and it is SO. UNDERRATED. While all of these songs on this album are acoustic, this one sticks out to me the most. Mat sings about riding in somebody’s car as they listen to their favorite music, which coincides with his favorite songs as well. He doesn’t want the day to end, and all he wants is to ride around with this person and listen to their favorite songs.
“I’m riding in your car / and it seems that your radio plays all of my favorite songs today / and I wish you would sing along.”
To listen to my playlist along with the honorable mentions, check out my Spotify playlist below!