Characterized as driving and emotional, as well as uplifting and spirited, the 10 best Indie acoustic songs 2010 featured rock anthems from acclaimed Indie bands like Bon Iver, The National and Band of Horses, along with impressive sentimental ballads from talented debut artists like S. Carey and Seattle Indie folk band The Head and the Heart.
- “I Put a Spell on You” by She & Him A staple acoustic song performed by She & Him during their concerts, this song was most notably performed in late 2010 on Conan O’Brien’s late night talk show “Conan.” A stirring cover of the Screamin’ Jay Hawkins 1956 blues classic, the song featured M. Ward alone on an echoing electric guitar with Zooey Deschanel beautifully belting out the soulful lyrics.
- “Cats and Dogs/Coeur D’Alene” by The Head and the Heart One of the ten best indie acoustic songs of 2010, this song from rising Seattle Indie folk band The Head and the Heart is a lively, twangy folk-infused piece of Americana consisting of two songs from their 2010 self-titled debut and opened their live session for NPR’s World Cafe.
- “Acts of Man” by Midlake Featured on their 2010 album “The Courage of Others,” this song by Texas Indie band Midlake is one of the ten best Indie acoustic songs of 2010 and features exceptional acoustic guitar riffs by guitarists Eric Nichelson and Tim Smith, who also lends his light vocals to the song’s somber lyrics.
- “Bloodbuzz Ohio” by The National The first single from their 2010 album “High Violet,” this upbeat rock anthem was added as an acoustic track to the album’s expanded edition. Featuring the band’s Indie rock sound and poetic lyrics, the stripped down acoustic version lacks the instrumental backing of the original. One of the ten best Indie acoustic songs of 2010, the song features Matt Berninger’s iconic baritone and powerful acoustic guitar riffs.
- “Around Us” by Jonsi A side project of Icelandic band Sigur Ros’s lead singer Jonsi Birgisson, this moving piano ballad about two people and all the things they wish to accomplish together is one of the ten best Indie acoustic songs of 2010. This quiet acoustic melody features Birgisson’s spirited falsetto alone with light piano backing.
- “Evening Kitchen” by Band of Horses Performed live at a concert at Grand Central Terminal in New York City, this song was written by lead guitarist Tyler Ramsey who also provides lead vocals. Ramsey showcases his impressive guitar skills with this dreamy acoustic ballad, as well as his effecting vocal range.
- “In the Stream” by S. Carey Performed acoustically at the Southern Theater in Minneapolis in late 2010, this song finds musical prodigy S. Carey on piano, softly backed by violins and cello. The emotional centerpiece of Carey’s impressive solo debut, “All We Grow,” this song features impassioned vocals from Carey and his sister, Shannon, who also contributes her talent to the album.
- “Roslyn” by Justin Vernon and St. Vincent Performed acoustically for the 2010 MusicNow Festival in Cincinnati, Ohio, this airy song lacks the reverberation that plays so predominantly in the original. A masterful song featuring spirited acoustic guitar by both Justin Vernon of Bon Iver and the multitalented instrumentalist Annie Erin Clark who performs under the name St. Vincent, this light ballad is definitely one of the ten best Indie acoustic songs of 2010.
- “Thistled Spring” by Horse Feathers Performed acoustically in concert, this song from the Portland Indie folk band’s 2010 album of the same name is just as uplifting and whimsical as the album version. The song features impressive cello and violin by band members Nathan Crockett and Catherine Odell, as well as engaging acoustic guitar from singer-songwriter Justin Ringle.
- “Dead Hearts” by Stars The gem of Stars’ 2010 album “The Five Ghosts,” this hauntingly beautiful ballad was performed for the first time ever for Canada’s CBC Radio in Vancouver in early 2010. A stirring and emotion song about the loss of a child, this piano acoustic is not only one of the ten best Indie acoustic songs of 2010, but also one of the best acoustic songs of the decade.
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