Phoebe Bridgers is an NPR Music favorite — she's already been one of our 2018 Slingshot artists and played a Tiny Desk concert — whose Stranger in the Alps was one of last year's best debuts. Noah Gundersen has spent the last decade breaking out slowly and steadily, releasing a long string of well-received albums and EPs.
Last fall, Bridgers opened for Gundersen on a tour that stopped in the latter's Seattle hometown. The two actually go way back — she used to sell merch at his shows — so sharing a stage gave them the idea to visit Seattle's Studio X and record an eight-minute medley of their songs with help from Gundersen's sister Abby. It's remarkable how well their voices and songwriting blend as they swap verses and share choruses: Bridgers' "Killer" stuns in any setting, and Gundersen's "The Sound" is a revelation in their collective hands. Performed back to back, the two songs sound hauntingly beautiful.
Bridgers is one of Gundersen's biggest fans: "I've been a fanatic Noah fan since I was a teenager," she writes via email. "He changed the way I write music, made me more comfortable with being honest in my songs. Getting to sing with him was like getting pulled onstage by your favorite band during a show."
The feeling, it turns out, is mutual.
"I'm just a big fan of her work," Gundersen writes. "I listened to her record obsessively and I wanted to make something with her. This was recorded on our last day of tour together, when we all had a few spare hours in the afternoon."