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Saturday, May 25, 2024
The Observer

Noah Kahan collaborates with Hozier and others on tracks from ‘Stick Season’

Anna Falk | The Observer

This past Friday, Noah Kahan released the fourth collaboration since the release of “Stick Season (We’ll All Be Here Forever),” with Irish singer Hozier joining him on “Northern Attitude.” Kahan, who scored a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist on Friday, has been working with several big artists to put out new versions of tracks from his most recent album. Now that a fourth has been released, it is time to talk about them and what may come next.

“Dial Drunk (feat. Post Malone)”

Kahan and his fans often refer to the singer as the “Folk Malone,” and, shortly after the success of his single “Dial Drunk,” Kahan got the chance to collaborate with Post Malone on a new version of the song. Post Malone brings a brand new second verse and solid harmonies to a track that has been one of Kahan’s most successful releases yet. 

“Call Your Mom (feat. Lizzy McAlpine)”

Kahan brought indie-folk artist Lizzy McAlpine out onstage at one of his shows to perform his deeply emotional track “Call Your Mom” together, and they released an official recording of the collaboration shortly after. “Call Your Mom” is an incredibly powerful and moving song about pleading with a friend to stay in the face of serious mental health struggles. Kahan has been very vocal about his own struggles with mental health, and it is often a subject of his lyrics. On her own verse and the bridge, McAlpine’s vocals beautifully complement the weight of the lyrics, and her harmonies with Kahan are exceptional. 

“She Calls Me Back (feat. Kacey Musgraves)”

While I had enjoyed the original “She Calls Me Back,” it was not one of my favorite tracks from “Stick Season.” However, this collaboration with country artist Kacey Musgraves breathes new life into the song. Musgraves reverses the original lyrics and sings her verse and chorus from the opposite perspective of Kahan’s to now portray both sides of a toxic relationship nearing its end.

“Northern Attitude (feat. Hozier)”

In an Instagram post the day the track was released, Kahan described this collaboration as “very deeply special and important to me,” going on to call Hozier an inspiration and one of his heroes. This was the first collaboration where I was fairly familiar with the featuring artist’s own work, and I was beyond excited when I saw the announcement. The track exceeded my expectations and is my personal favorite of the four. Hozier’s crisp Irish accent on his verse is fantastic, and the harmonies on the chorus along with his high notes throughout the latter half of the song are absolutely beautiful. I may not be from anywhere resembling the north they sing about, but I first fell in love with Kahan’s music through the song “Northern Attitude,” and this new recording is even better.  

What’s Next? 

With four of these collaborations now out, fans have speculated which artists may come next if the trend continues. Last month, Olivia Rodrigo sang a cover of Kahan’s “Stick Season” for BBC Radio 1, and Kahan recently worked with country artist Zach Bryan on Bryan’s “Sarah’s Place.” Kahan has also expressed his interest in working with indie supergroup boygenius, the trio of Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker. I would personally love to see any of these artists join Kahan on another single, and I cannot wait to see what may come next.