Hold back your self-judgement if should you find yourself reminiscing about past heartbreaks, opportunities missed, or even just weeping uncontrollably.
Hey Ya by Obadiah Parker (Mat Weddle) originally performed by Outkast
Who’d have thought the banger that taught you to shake it like a Polaroid picture* and ask for some sugar in the sassiest way imaginable would make such a stunning acoustic song? An acoustic version of the 2004 anthem even found its way into an episode of Scrubs via Ted’s band, The Blanks. But it is Obadiah Parker (A.K.A. Mat Weddle’s) humble coffee shop performance that hits you where it hurts with nothing else but a six-string.
I Took A Pill In Ibiza by Tom Odell originally performed by Mike Posner
The 2015 single of the summer by top producer Mike Posner may have been your ultimate floor-filler for a while but you need to slow it down to properly hear the true story of its writer’s struggles with intense fame in light of Posner’s 2009 hit Cooler Than Me. Posner himself has performed the track acoustically many times before but it is in the form of an unlikely English gentleman, Tom Odell, where the song’s true meaning takes hold of the listener. In fact, Odell’s slowed-down version of the song that once may have found you wanting to be a DJ is all it takes to convince you exactly why you shouldn’t. It even includes a rarely performed, unreleased verse not present on the Radio Edit of the original track, one that effortlessly adds an additional layer of poignancy to Odell’s beautiful reinvention:
I walked around downtown / I met some fans on Lafayette / they said Mike, tell us how to make it / we’re getting real impatient / I looked them in the eye and said / you don’t wanna be high like me…
Folding Stars by Simon Neil  originally performed by Biffy Clyro
Biffy Clyro are the high school band we all wanted to make it that, well, actually did. The Scottish three-piece from Ayrshire (here we, here we, here we f**cking go) are known for their quirky riffs, unusual time signatures and incredibly random lyrics. That saying, a rare form of coherent structure can be found in Simon Neil’s solo rendition of ‘Folding Stars’, the track originally written as a direct tribute to the singer’s late mother and one which he once vowed to never play live. Although recorded for the band’s 4th studio album Puzzle with all of the grit and drums found on a typical Biffy track, Neil’s unexpected acoustic rendition made its way into the limelight on the 2010 tour DVD Biffy Clyro: Live in Wembley, instantly grabbing hearts with Neil’s humble, heartbreaking proclamation about struggling with life after losing a loved one. Hankies at the ready. He kills it.
Thunder Road performed by Bruce Springsteen, Hammersmith 
I don’t even know where to begin with this one. ‘Thunder Road’ is often credited as one of rock music’s greatest hits of all time, a fantastic title for a man with as many records as Bruce. However, it goes far beyond just being a rock ballad with an incredibly iconic saxophone solo as you can see from Springsteen’s extremely early performance of the track — once called ‘Wings For Wheels’ — at the Hammersmith Odeon in 1975. Here, Springsteen takes to the stage with his trusty harmonica alongside co-writer Roy Bitten on the keys to describe the story of Mary, her boyfriend and their “one last chance to make it real”. It’s an incredibly poignant rendition of a song rooted in optimism, young love and endless, warm summers and that bloody harmonica has a way of stirring up your most painful memories. What makes this performance even more special is that ‘Thunder Road’ was at large during the Born to Run phase of Springsteen’s career where performing along his E-Street Band, most notably the late Clarence Clemmings on the tenor saxophone, was very much the united image he was going for.
*Don’t shake Polaroids. They contain chemicals, real chemicals. And real chemicals like to run.