No Instruments Allowed

By Kennedy Lane on December 11, 2017

As powerful as music can be in our lives, it almost draws more attention to peel away everything that gives the song punch. Take away the drums, the guitars, and the keys. All that remains after that is the voice and the lyrics. I’m very into vocals, and layered vocals with no instruments at all is something I love.  You hear the breathe, any rasp or tone comes across without fighting against a full band or any other instrument. It lets the voice be in the spotlight with no distraction.

But it can also be layered to make the impact that sounds something like drums. The Beat and rhythm are still present.

Imogen Heap usually has more techno tools on her musical belt, but for this song it’s just voice on top of voice with some synth effects. It flows and grabs attention.  This song totally became a meme after they used one clip on the OC and then spoofed that bit on SNL with the Dear Sister sketch. Even that Jason Derulo sampled it. Which is a bit annoying because it’s a great song on it’s own.


I actually discovered this song on an episode of Gossip Girl. But how else would you find out about a singer-songwriter from Malaysia? It uses one of my favourite tools in a vocalists belt. The loop pedal. She makes a back beat with vocal noises,  then slowly builds to a really laid back but cool track.

This is a rare breed of music but there are a few others that go for this minimal style.