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Employing cello, horns, organ and banjo, songs like “Zorbing” and “I Saw You Blink” beg for the repeat button. Beirut – No No No (2015) Beirut may have begun as the solo project of singer/songwriter Zach Condon, but the musical globetrotter credits the rest of his now-five-piece band for helping turn the fragments he’d written during the tumultuous period after 2011’s The Rip Tide into a cohesive album.Few bands operate in musical territory all their own, but the way horns weave through these tender ballads remains unique and gives the music a distinct bittersweetness as teasingly joyous melodies belie Condon’s snippets of loneliness and heartache.What is it about duet songs that make them so appealing?Perhaps it is as simple as the fact that they are very often a love song, and everyone loves a love song.
The Everly Brothers, The Righteous Brothers, and Paul Young and Zucchero are just some of the men-only duets on our list, while Donna Summer and Barbra Streisand fly the flag for all-female duos.
In fact, reading through this list is overwhelmingly nostalgic, as much a time capsule of the writers and editors we’ve worked with these last 15 years as of the musicians who’ve often graced the cover and pages (both paper and virtual) of our magazine since its inception.
Musically, we’re looking at that glorious amalgamation of tradition folk elements (acoustic instruments and vocal styles) with the burgeoning indie-rock scene—or, occasionally, electronic elements applied to folk music.
“Love is interesting, because when two people come together that way, it can be really hostile and beautiful at the same time,” she said of the inspiration for the album’s 13 songs, some of which were written before Jaffe graduated from high school. Badly Drawn Boy – One Plus One Is One (2004) The poorly illustrated Damon Gaugh had already proven himself a masterful arranger, deftly weaving vignettes, tangents, instrumental interludes and miniature movements into the space of three- to five-minute pop songs.
His fourth release—a much sparer, acoustic creation—is no less carefully arranged.
Wide-open, humble and matter-of-fact, she crafts beautiful, raw songs that “are what they are” in the very best way.