SIMA Doffs the Leather to Expose the Power of “Runaways” Acoustic

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

The transition from a fully electric song to a stripped down acoustic one sometimes robs a song of its magic. Other times, it transforms it, highlighting little bursts of creative brilliance often obscured by layers of gloss and studio pyrotechnics.  Such is the case for Israeli/American hard rock singer SIMA’s acoustic interpretation of her new single “Runaways.”

In its flashy and metallic original version, “Runaways” pummels you with power chords and thundering drums while showcasing SIMA’s assertive vocals – a mixture of emphatic pop and commanding rock that combines the poshness of Amy Lee and the roughness of Lita Ford. It’s music Howard Stern would undoubtedly blast in his Porsche.

But when you doff the leather, peel away the chrome, and disconnect the powersource til there’s nothing left but a piano, an acoustic guitar, and SIMA’s raw and vulnerable vocals, you end up with a dramatic retelling of the same song with surprisingly far more firepower and resonance than the amped-up original. “After releasing my latest single ‘Runaways,’ I decided to create an acoustic, stripped-down version of the song,” she iterates. “I wanted people to truly focus on the inspiring and empowering lyrics and allow my powerful voice and the message of the song to penetrate people’s hearts. I wanted to strip away the high production value of the song and all the cool-looking visuals of the music video and glam and leave people with what truly matters, which is the lyrics, the message, and song delivery.”

Shot in black and white with a focused intent of relaying that undeniable emotional heft within the song’s lyrics (“You can’t destroy our faith / We won’t be controlled by hate / We won’t back down / Stand our ground / Let’s start a revolution”), the acoustic version isn’t as much a call-to-arms as it is a plea to be recognized and acknowledged. “I knew that ‘Runaways’ is a great song and can stand on its own with only piano and vocals,” she admits. “I also wanted people to hear and feel me, my heart and my soul, without any distractions. I wanted people to recognize me as a strong songwriter and an artist.”

In its standard form, it’s difficult to imagine the track as a folky ballad, but with the help of musician friend Adam Peri, she was able to reshape the angular electric guitars and pounding bass into bare piano, guitar and vox without much difficulty or fanfare. “We met up in his studio and listened to the song to try to figure out the structure and how we were going to approach it and adjust things to a completely new version,” she describes. “I remember starting to laugh when we were listening to it and watching the ‘Runaways’ official music video and telling Adam, ‘How are we going to strip down this beast into an acoustic version?’ But as soon as he started playing the piano, everything started to flow.  I suggested adding an acoustic guitar which truly added this cool acoustic rock vibe to the song.”

“Runaways (Acoustic)” channels the earnestness that 90s metal bands exposed to show their sensitive side (witness Guns N’ Roses “Patience” or Poison “Every Rose Has Its Thorn”) while trying to keep its high-level of intensity. SIMA keeps the revving in check, insuring that none of its meaning is lost even if the electricity is hindered.

“’Runaways’ is a powerful song that you can’t miss or ignore and I think with this raw version of the song, it leaves you without any doubts,” she says assuredly. “It will give people new insight about the song and a new perspective and hopefully they will get inspired, empowered, elevated, and feel connected to something bigger, something that they can reflect on, relate to and draw strength from… I’m breaking down the walls. When you break the chains of culture, pain, and experiences, there’s something beautiful inside. I’ve discovered this after all of these years, and I’m letting it shine.”

Check out SIMA on your preferred digital platform.

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