Contributed by Emma Mac, DJ at WXRT.
Thank you Third Coast for inviting me to be a part of this very cool project! With the recent election and political madness in our divided country, I wanted create a playlist addressing the topic, but the good old fashioned “protest songs” theme seemed to be too easy. So in the spirit of togetherness, we’re going with duets. I use that term loosely, as a few of these have a third harmony, but most are classic duets, honing in on the heartaches of love and division.
The melodies in M. Ward and Lucinda Williams’ “Oh, Lonesome Me” are absolutely heartbreaking, but I also included She and Him’s “Ridin’ In My Car”, where M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel have some fun with the concept of a breakup. Emmylou Harris teaming up with The Band, and Bob Dylan working with Johnny Cash add some roots to the playlist, and The XX and San Cisco offer a more modern take on the duet. Wilco’s “You and I” features a lovely back and forth between Jeff Tweedy and Leslie Feist, and Andrew Bird partnered with Fiona Apple on “Left Handed Kisses,” where he openly mocks himself for writing a love song. Jack White and Ruby Amanfu’s “Love Interruption,” Edward Sharpe’s “Home,” and Shakey Graves and Esme Patterson’s “Dearly Departed” are instant classics that tie “folk” and “duet” together in a pretty bow, and it all comes full circle with Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, a tragic love story themselves, singing Dylan’s “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere.” Enjoy the togetherness of these duets.