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Acoustic Music Revival: Back to Authentics

In an era dominated by digital production and artificial intelligence, a surprising counter-trend is emerging: the revival of acoustic music. Listeners increasingly crave the authentic, organic sounds that characterize acoustic performances, marking a shift away from the heavily synthesized and electronically manipulated music that has dominated the airwaves for years.

In this article, we explore this revival of acoustic music by exploring its cause and effect on independent music by showcasing recent contributions to the music industry.

Acoustic Music: Why is it back?

The digital revolution has undeniably transformed the music industry, offering unprecedented convenience and access to a vast array of genres and artists.

However, this technological shift has also led to a saturation of music that often feels overproduced and impersonal. As algorithms generate playlists and AI creates beats, some of the soul of music gets lost in the process. This is where acoustic music has stepped in.

Acoustic Music Main Features

There are possibly many more features that define acoustic music, but here are the three that make acoustic a true alternative to the digital music revolution.

Human Connection

Acoustic music offers a direct and tangible connection between the artist and the listener. The nuances of live instrumentation, the slight imperfections, and the raw vocal performances create a sense of immediacy and vulnerability often absent in digitally produced music.

Overall, listeners feel they are part of an intimate performance, and this creates a stronger emotional bond with the song and the artist.

Simplicity and Clarity

In a world where life is increasingly complex and fast-paced, it provides the break we look for. Its simplicity and clarity can be profoundly soothing, offering a moment of calm and reflection.

Acoustic arrangements strip songs down to their core elements, allowing the lyrics and melodies to shine through without the distraction of excessive production.

Nostalgia and Timelessness

This music often evokes a sense of nostalgia, reminding listeners of a time when music was more about storytelling and musicianship than technological prowess.

This timeless quality appeals to a broader audience, from older listeners longing for the music of their youth to younger listeners discovering the classics for the first time.

Acoustic Music: Who’s brought it back?

Several independent artists have embraced the acoustic movement, creating new music or reimagining existing songs in acoustic formats. Their efforts have not only found commercial success but have also helped redefine the modern music landscape.

Here are 3 artists that are finding success in acoustic sounds.

Tyler Childers: The Voice of Modern Folk

Tyler Childers, a country and folk singer-songwriter from Kentucky, has become a prominent figure in the revival of acoustic music. Known for his rich storytelling and evocative voice, Childers’ music often reflects the rural landscapes and lives of his Appalachian roots. His debut album, Purgatory (2017)garnered widespread acclaim and established him as a powerful new voice in country and folk music.

Childers’ storytelling prowess and authentic sound have resonated with a wide audience, proving that acoustic music can still have an impact in the digital age. In fact, “Jersey Giant,” gained massive popularity through viral covers on platforms like TikTok. fact, artists Evan Honer and Julia DiGrazia covered it soon after the original release and gave it even more boost on TikTok, resulting in even more covers.

J.S. Ondara: The Soulful Storyteller

Kenyan-born artist J.S. Ondara has captivated audiences with his soulful acoustic performances. His musical journey began with Tales of America (2019) which explores the immigrant experience and the pursuit of the American dream; his distinct voice and acoustic guitar work create a hauntingly beautiful sound that resonates deeply with listeners.

Characterized by a lyrical depth and emotional intensity. Tracks like “American Dream” and “Saying Goodbye” highlight his ability to convey complex emotions and narratives through stripped-down, acoustic arrangements. His follow-up album, Folk N’ Roll, Vol 1: Tales of Isolation (2020), further showcased his versatility and commitment to acoustics, recorded entirely during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Ondara’s music stands out by offering a refreshing break from overproduced tracks and connecting deeply with listeners; what’s more, gaining commercial success through tracks like “Wounded Heart,” featured in the film documentary Silver Dollar Road (2023).

Caamp: The Harmony in Folk Revival

Caamp, formed by childhood friends Taylor Meier and Evan Westfall, with later additions Matt Vinson and Joe Kavalec, has become a significant force in the acoustic scene.

The band’s sound is a blend of folk, rock, and Americana, characterized by heartfelt lyrics, rich harmonies, and organic acoustic arrangements; their acoustic style, centered around guitar and banjo, also brings a sense of authenticity and simplicity that stands out in today’s music industry.

Their debut self-titled album (2016) and subsequent releases like Boys (2018) and “By and By” (2019) have cemented their place in the modern folk landscape. Their music often revolves around love, nature, and personal reflection. Songs like “Vagabond,” or “Peach Fuzz” showcase their ability to create warm, inviting soundscapes that resonate with listeners.

Acoustic Music: Covers Finding Success

The trend of acoustic covers has also gained momentum, with artists reinterpreting popular songs in stripped-down, acoustic formats. These covers often breathe new life into well-known tracks, offering fresh perspectives and highlighting the versatility of this type of music.

Boyce Avenue: Masters of Acoustic Covers

This American band formed by brothers Alejandro, Daniel, and Fabian Manzano, has become synonymous with acoustic covers. Since they formed in 2004, Boyce Avenue has built a massive online following, primarily through YouTube, where they post acoustic versions of popular songs.

Their covers are characterized by a clean and melodic arrangement, as well as an emotional vocal performance. Their versions often feature acoustic guitar, piano, and light percussion, providing a fresh, intimate take on well-known tracks.

This style resonates with listeners who appreciate a raw and genuine music feel. Among the most successful covers are “Heaven” by Bryan Adams and “Photograph” by Ed Sheeran, getting millions of listeners and viewers on YouTube.

Madilyn Bailey: The Personal Acoustic Touch

Madilyn Bailey, a singer-songwriter from Wisconsin, has made a significant impact with her acoustic covers of popular songs. Gaining fame on YouTube, Bailey’s renditions are known for their emotional depth and simplicity, often featuring her distinctive voice accompanied by minimalistic instrumentation.

Bailey’s breakthrough came with her acoustic cover of Sia’s “Titanium,” which highlighted her vocal prowess and ability to convey powerful emotions through stripped-down arrangements. Others like “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons and “Mad World” by Tears for Fears have garnered millions of views, establishing her as a prominent figure in the acoustic cover scene.

Canyon City: The Intimacy of Acoustics

Canyon City, the project of Nashville-based artist Paul Johnson, has gained acclaim for its acoustic-driven music and introspective lyrics; Johnson’s approach to music emphasizes simplicity and emotional authenticity, often featuring gentle guitar work and soft, soothing vocals.

Their acoustic cover of Coldplay’s “Fix You” is a standout example of his ability to reinterpret well-known songs; his version strips down the original to its emotional core, using delicate guitar and hushed vocals to create a poignant, heartfelt rendition. Other covers, like his take on “Let It Be” by The Beatles, further showcase his talent for creating deeply moving acoustic interpretations.


The revival of acoustic music represents a return to the fundamentals of music-making: heartfelt lyrics, genuine performances, and the raw beauty of live instrumentation. As listeners seek authenticity in an increasingly digital and AI-saturated environment, it offers a refreshing alternative.

Independent artists like Childers or Onadara are leading the charge, proving that acoustic music is not only relevant but thriving. Whether through original compositions or reimagined covers, it continues to forge a powerful connection with audiences, reminding us of the timeless appeal of simplicity and authenticity in music.

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