To celebrate Valentine’s Day, we asked Macon songwriting duo Sean Williams and Paige Horton of Hello Again to share some of their favorite duets! Hit play and let the couple’s skate begin!
1. “Please Read The Letter”, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss
“Please Read The Letter” by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss from their 2007 album Raising Sand is a beautiful piece about yearning for someone while having “unfinished business” in the letter. The song was written by Plant and Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin, but the production from T Bone Burnett and the surprisingly complementary vocals of Plant and Krauss are what make this one of my favorite duets. Paige and I both wore this record out when it was released– long before we met each other.
2. “I Lied”, Lord Huron with Allison Ponthier
Paige introduced me to this band and I’ve fallen in love with them. I’m already going to break the mold here and place a more depressing song in the mix. However, I think many people have experienced moments like this. The lyrics here discuss a “mutual breakup”. The singer discusses his regret at not being a better partner to his significant other. Ponthier’s verse also indicates the same. The ’50s style production and reverb-drenched vocals make this a beautiful duet, as melancholy as it might be. If you’re going through a “mutual breakup”, maybe slow dance to this song one more time to remember the love that is still there.
3. “Jackson”, Johnny Cash & June Carter
I had to include a classic here. The story of “Jackson” discusses a couple who got married “in a fever” but soon become bored with their relationship. The male character threatens to move and mess around while the female character tells him he’ll just embarrass himself– fitting for Cash, who proposed to June Carter 30 times before she said yes! This was the first song Paige and I sang together, but we reversed roles and at that moment I knew I found someone who would let me be myself.
4. “Who”, David Byrne and St. Vincent
A surprising collaboration, this song shows that unexpected pairings can create beautiful results. The song discusses a man who has high standards and is looking for a partner, but he fears he will be exposed and his faults will resurface. The woman also has high standards and wants an honest man.
5. “Hold You Now”, Vampire Weekend featuring Danielle Haim
The turn of Vampire Weekend from indie pop kings to an alt-country act with traditional duets and a sample of a Melanesian choral song– “God Yu Tekem Laef Blong Mi”– wasn’t on my list for 2019 when this song came out, but I was pleasantly surprised by the experimental blending of styles. This song discusses a man who is still in love with a woman who is about to get married. The line “I can’t carry you forever, but I can hold you now” hits home as both characters in the story say this and know it’s a bittersweet end to their story but the beginning of a new chapter in their lives.
6. “Islands In The Stream”, Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton
Nothing much to be said about this classic, other than it’s a purely upbeat and happy love song that’s timeless and a karaoke staple. What other song can take the place of the most famous duet of all time?