To understand American history, Jon Lauck says you have to understand the Midwest's role in some critical events.
Canadian record label Arts & Crafts has celebrated its ten year anniversary in a unique way.
It decided to create an album titled “Arts & Crafts: X,” in which it paired some of its greatest artists together.
This week, NPR Music writer and editor Stephen Thompson introduces us to a song off that album. “Homage” is a collaboration between singer-songwriter Leslie Feist, known professionally as Feist, and Timber Timbre’s lead singer Taylor Kirk.
Thompson describes Kirk’s voice as “Halloween,” and says Feist’s voice “has this alluring distance to it that pairs perfectly with his hunting, haunted quality.”
“I’d gladly listen to them preform a whole record together, but for now, we’ve just got this one beautiful song,” says Thompson.
ROBIN YOUNG, HOST:
Well, it's Monday, and as we look to Washington, it could be a rough week. So let's launch it with a new song from Stephen Thompson, writer and editor of NPR News - Music, rather. What have you got for us, Stephen?
STEPHEN THOMPSON, BYLINE: I've got a beautiful duet between two Canadian singers whose voices sound amazing when you lay them side by side. The first voice you're going to hear is that of Taylor Kirk, who's the lead singer in a band called Timber Timbre. And he's got a voice that to me it sounds like Halloween. You'll know what I mean when we hear it. We'll get to the second vocalist in a second, but let's hear a little bit of Timber Timbre's contribution to the song "Homage."
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HOMAGE")
TAYLOR KIRK: (Singing) To set breeze on fire by a constant wind beyond mind and there is no psychic eye for you. Every night is Saturday night.
YOUNG: OK. So we're listening for the Halloween. Is this...
THOMPSON: It's a spooky voice.
YOUNG: Yes, it is.
THOMPSON: He has kind of a spooky - actually, his band put out a record once called "Creep On Creepin' On." So they know how creepy they sound. But anyway, "Homage" is from a compilation earlier this year called "Arts & Crafts: X," which is - the X is I guess a roman numeral 10. It's celebrating the 10th anniversary of a wonderful Canadian record label called Arts & Crafts. And the label has a ton of amazing artists on it, so they celebrated their anniversary by pairing up some of their bands and having them collaborate.
YOUNG: So let's hear the other voice in the duet. They sing solo in the verses. Let's hear the second voice.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HOMAGE")
LESLIE FEIST: (Singing) The past of letters in line, it happens all impossibly from where the feelings come...
THOMPSON: Now that's a more familiar voice. That's the singer Leslie Feist, who's put out a string of hit records under the name Feist. Her voice has this alluring distance to it that, to me, pairs perfectly with his haunting and haunted Halloweeny quality. So I would gladly listen to them perform a whole record together. But for now, we've just got this one beautiful song.
YOUNG: OK. Well, listeners, what do you think? It's "Homage" by Feist and Timber Timbre from the album "Arts & Crafts: X," from NPR Music writer and editor Stephen Thompson, his sort of pick of the week. Thanks so much.
THOMPSON: Well, it's my pleasure. Thank you.
YOUNG: I kind of like if. From NPR and WBUR Boston, I'm Robin Young.
MEGHNA CHAKRABARTI, HOST:
I'm Meghna Chakrabarti. Hauntingly beautiful, not me, the song. This is HERE AND NOW. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.