Mavis Staples (with Jeff Tweedy) - “You Are Not Alone”
Though the Wilco frontman approached the legendary voice of The Staple Singers about working together in 2007, it took them nearly three years to make it happen. Tweedy brought seven songs to the studio, writing three more during the recording process, which took place at his band’s loft in Chicago. This gorgeous slow burner ended up being the title track, with Tweedy and Staples singing together, backed by members of his band.
Andrew Bird - “Fitz and the Dizzyspells”
American musician, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Bird’s 2009 release, Noble Beast, contains many of the elements fans have come to love about the solo artist (think hand clapping, whistling and a Mensa vocabulary). But Bird seems a bit more subdued on this go-around, with a sparer sound than his previous albums. The track “Fitz and the Dizzyspells” is a bright and cheery pop song with layered guitar lines and driving drums.