Yael Naim‘s New Soul is best known as the music accompanying the MacBook Air ad, but the first time I came across it was on Le Soir’s ukulele sessions. That part of the session has since been replaced by the second half, but you can still enjoy the ukulele version of New Soul thanks to Dailymotion.
In the ukulele version, she seems to be playing tuned down half a step (one fret) with the chords half a step higher than the original. To keep things simple, I’ve written up the original version.
I do get paranoid sometimes when I’m writing up chords. What I’ll usually do is find the lyrics, work out the chords, then have a look online to see what other people reckon the chords are. I almost always disagree with them. In the other versions online, no one else makes any mention of an Ebmaj7 but just play a C chord in its place. Try it both ways and see which you think is correct.
One difference I’m sure I’m right on is the chords at the end of the middle section. Even though the lyrics and melody of the, “I’m a new soul…” are the same as before, the chords are different. It creates an interesting effect and it’d be a shame to miss it out.
For the strumming, I like to use down, down, up, down, up, down, up for most of the chords. But for the shorter chords (Am and G), I go with just down, down, up for each. It sounds like this slow:
And this up to speed: