When you give your heart to another, it’s not usually literally. But indie rock couple the Finks practically did that when singer Orenda (of Azure Ray) underwent extensive cardiac surgery. She recovered well, thanks in part by the support of husband Todd (the Faint), and so they were able to realize their dream of releasing music together. The result is Closeness (apropos), and their first EP, Personality Therapy, is out Feb. 24 on Graveface.
This extended player inspired us to explore further works penned by people in love with each other. Here are notable 10 albums schemed up by significant others:
Jenny and Johnny
I’m Having Fun Now
There’s nothing gooey about this collaboration between former Rilo Kiley singer Jenny Lewis and her boyfriend, solo artist Johnathan Rice. Her kittenish voice serves as foil to his spookier drawl, sparking a push-and-pull that often shows up in any relationship. The songs have a surf rock/Americana vibe (especially lead single “Big Wave”), but the album title might be a double entendre—this record came out near the end of Rilo Kiley’s run, suggesting that Lewis felt trapped and joyless in the band. Leave it to love to guide one’s heart and art.
Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová
Work romances are tough. You put your everything into a project, and succeed or fail, you’re entwined so deeply, connections beyond the task are likely to fuse. And yet, success is often the spike in the converging tracks— one partner might thrive on glory; the other might shrink in its blinding light. Supposedly, this is the path of the star-crossed pair in the Academy Award-winning musical Once. Indie stalwart Glen Hansard of the Frames met-cute with Czech balladeer Markéta Irglová, and they fell in love as their characters did. Though they moved on romantically and creatively (their outlet known as the Swell Season is inactive), they remain friends. Irglová opened for Hansard in concert in 2016.
Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks
You can’t have a list of musicians in love without Fleetwood Mac’s entrancing couple. (Though we can’t forget the McVies, either!) Prior to joining Mick Fleetwood’s brood, these starry-eyed Californians produced this baby, which effortlessly solders Nicks’ gypsy tendencies to Buckingham’s instrumental experiments. And dig that very ’70s nude shot— a trope of the time that let the whole world know you were in love, down to your very souls. “You remain ageless,” they coo to each other in “Crystal,” and the sentiment is still true today as they continue their rocky but enchanted camaraderie.
John Lennon and Yoko Ono
Like the above classic rockers, the Beatles’ members enthusiastically wrote with their significant others. Paul and Linda McCartney worked together in Wings, but it was John Lennon and Yoko Ono who ruled the romantic album realm. Like Buckingham and Nicks, they appeared naked on one work, and hosted bed-ins for peace between crafting songs. Double Fantasy was the pinnacle of their partnership, presented as a conversation between two lovers. Tracks such as Lennon’s “(Just Like) Starting Over” and Ono’s “Kiss Kiss Kiss” conveyed their dedication in the wake of his years astray, and the tender smooch they share on the cover became an immortal image. Double Fantasy came out mere weeks before Lennon was shot to death by a fan, so it serves as a bittersweet sendoff.
Beyoncé and Jay Z
The reigning couple of hip-hop and R&B have cut numerous tracks together, all of which broke the mainstream mold. “Crazy in Love” made trumpets cool again way back in 2003, and “Drunk in Love” made us think about surfing and Andy Warhol in way different ways than before. Beyoncé and Jay Z have a monopoly on the market of making love in their respective genres. (And don’t let Bey’s angst-driven 2016 bombshell, Lemonade, make you think otherwise. Even kings and queens have their royal disputes.) Image by Miss Erica / Creative Commons
Dean & Britta
Double Feature, 2007
One of the simple pleasures of being in love is sharing with your partner, particularly music. Husband and wife Dean Wareham (Galaxie 500, Luna) and Britta Phillips (Luna) presented their romantic mix to each other and subsequently to the world on this 2007 mostly covers album. The tracklist consists of classics of yesteryear, such as Phillips’ gorgeous take on Lee Hazlewood’s “You Turned My Head Around.” Back Numbers is the perfect accompaniment to a lazy day in bed with your mate.
The White Stripes
Sympathy for the Record Industry, 2000
Though they were seeking and solidifying a divorce during the recording to De Stijl, Jack and Meg White were still legally a couple. The second album by the Detroit garage-rock duo featured breakup Easter eggs such as the Led Zeppelin-lite “I’m Bound To Pack It Up” and the Hendrixian “Why Can’t You Be Nicer To Me?” What’s known as fact now was at the turn of the century a shock— the White “siblings” were actually exes. With De Stijl, Jack and Meg laid the found for their legendary career and their legendary dark humor.
What are your favorite couples recordings? Let us know in the comments.
Featured image by Gerd Altmann / Creative Commons