Listening to Acoustic Cover Versions

In this intermediate English listening file, an Englishman talks about his favourite artist, Ben Howard, and listening to acoustic cover versions of pop songs.

Self Study


Listen to the dialogue in the episode again. Try to write down what they say and then check with the answers below.


Who is my favourite music artist?

I'm a big fan of Ben Howard, um, he sings folk style music, and usually on an acoustic guitar.

I also really like to listen to acoustic covers of pop songs.

So I'd listen to an acoustic version of Justin Bieber's song 'Sorry', or Taylor Swift's 'Bad Blood'. I really like to hear artists taking on a song that I've heard over and over again and putting a new twist on it, something that I've not heard before.

And it gives, it gives me a new perspective and sometimes I discover lyrics that are in the song that I've never heard. They slow parts down, speed bits up, and they tend to match it all to a guitar, which is fantastic.

Self Study

Use a voice recorder to try to summarize what they said in the episode. You can use the questions and answers below to help.


  • Who's his favourite musician?
  • What style of music does that musician play?
  • What kinds of songs does he like listening to?
  • Why?
  • What sometimes does he discover?
  • How do the artists modify the song?


He likes Ben Howard.

Ben Howard plays folk style music usually with an acoustic guitar.

He likes listening to acoustic cover versions of pop songs.

He likes that artists put a new twist on the song, it gives him a new perspective.

Sometimes he discovers lyrics that he hadn't previously heard in the original version.

Sometimes they speed parts up, or slow parts down.