Thanks to the beloved Punk Goes Acoustic collections from my formative years, I’m immediately drawn to albums where bands do acoustic covers of their own, original material. Northern-California duo, Wildlight, did just that, with the help of Jumpsuit Records, to their 2015 album, Tide. One of the great things about Jumpsuit Records is that they have a “name your price” policy, so you can pay what you can in support of great, new music! My favorite of the new, acoustic tracks is the folksy, singer-songwriter inspired interpretation of “Grace, Fully.” This song was uploaded to SoundCloud two weeks ago and already has 22K plays.
Don’t get me wrong, the source track is dope, but the way this cover has been re-orchestrated takes everything to a higher level. Right from the beginning, the use of a banjo and a fiddle demonstrates that this is going to be a folksy re-up of the original track. The song starts out with the banjo picking the melody, introducing us to the first vocal motive we’ll come to hear repeated over the course of the the track. By the time we get to the chorus, the folk accompaniment has filled out nicely and gets ready for the first instrumental break before the second verse.
“Grace, Fully” in its original state, has much more of a produced, electronic style courtesy of band member and composer, David Sugalski. By adding new elements and removing some of the essential character from the original, this acoustic rendering becomes a new track in its own right. One of the best musical elements of this track, and it’s not-so-identical twin, is that it seems very repetitive, like they’re pounding these two main tunes into the ground. Everything appears to be very simple until these two themes we’ve heard in isolation become competing melodic lines in the last chorus, overlapping each other almost like a round and bringing the whole thing together. It makes for a very satisfactory ending to a song, and I often find myself clicking back to hear it again and again.
Wildlight is a wonderful duo that makes interesting, sophisticated music. Definitely give the OG Tides a listen first and then check out the acoustic covers, because that’s how they were intended to be heard, but you will not be disappointed. Check out the rest of their content on their SoundCloud. You can also see what they’re up to on their website, Facebook, or Twitter!