Noah Kahan has released the latest instalment in his hugely popular collaboration series, with the folk-leaning crooner teaming up with Sam Fender for a new version of ‘Homesick’.
The much-loved track originally appeared on Noah's acclaimed 2022 album, Stick Season, and has quickly blossomed into one of the many fan-favourites from the project.
The dramatic, high-energy song finds Noah Kahan tussling with his love/hate relationship with his hometown, a theme that pervades much of the album, with the singer-songwriter fantasising about the prospect of an escape, while at the same time struggling to let go.
The addition of Sam's rock-tinged vocals into the mix brings a newfound edge and grit to the track, with the UK artist re-writing the second verse to reflect his own life in North Shields.
Although blockbuster duets of this ilk can sometimes feel a tad commercial, with the two artists having recorded their parts separately and never actually meeting, this revamped rendition of ’Homesick’ is lit up by the real-life chemistry of Noah and Sam.
Ahead of the release, Noah Kahan explained how Sam Fender's artistry has inspired him, “When I first heard Sam Fender’s music, I stopped what I was doing, started ‘Dead Boys’ from the beginning and listened four more times. It was everything I loved about a song. I followed this artist like a crazy person, checking every day to see if he had dropped new music, reading every lyric and looking for his interpretation of what they meant. I must have listened to Hypersonic Missiles 1,000 times before Seventeen Going Under came out, and I had never felt so connected to a song. I come from a very different place than Sam did, that much was clear in the lyrics, but it felt like I had grown up the same”.
He stressed, “The nostalgia, pride, bitterness, confusion, and anger that Sam wrote about feeling was so similar to what I was feeling about my childhood and my hometown at the time. This song was the final push for me to start writing about my own experiences”.
Noah Kahan recalled the day the two artists recorded the song together, ““As we sat down in Guilford, Vermont to record this album, the very first song we listened to was ‘Seventeen Going Under.’ The song ‘Homesick’ was born out of the confidence instilled in me by listening to someone accurately depict their hometown and what it means to them, for better or for worse. When I found out I’d be able to spend the day in Newcastle with Sam, I was nervous but
He endearingly shared how Sam ensured he felt at home, “He welcomed me with open arms, let me into his world, showed me places in this community that held so much significance not only to the town, but to Sam himself. I felt very
much like an outsider, but by the end, I did start to understand where these songs were coming from, and just how special of a guy Sam really is. He did an absolutely amazing job bringing his experience into my song ‘Homesick.’ He went above and beyond and I truly can’t thank him enough. I hope you enjoy this glance into our worlds, and that it offers you the same connection that I felt when I first heard this dude sing”.
Sam Fender echoed Noah's warm sentiments, “I was told Noah wanted us to work together, and I’d heard the tune ‘Homesick’ and thought it was a lush song. We then spoke on the phone and immediately hit it off. I loved the idea of the song being a transatlantic call-and-response between two young kids desperate to escape their hometowns. The ‘running away’ theme has been done to death by myself, and many other artists over the last 50 years, but it’s relatable”.
The ‘Will We Talk?’ songsmith spoke fondly about the day they spent together in the UK, “Noah actually came to my hometown of Newcastle when he was on tour, so we met up and I showed him around. I found it canny funny and flattering as he said in his east coast American accent, ‘I wanna see where these songs came from, man’, so we hit the Lowlights Tavern for a swift Guinness and walked in the bitter cold of the sea-front. Chatting with him about things in both of our pasts made me realise how universal ‘Homesick’ is. We’ve all been that kid”.
Sam excitedly concluded, “I cut my parts in North Shields, on the banks of the Tyne, literally overlooking the ‘static cranes’ that I mention in my verse; it’s a stone’s throw from the estate in which the riots took place in the early 90’s. It made me proud of my hometown, and my people. The Geordies are a hilarious bunch, resilient and impermeable to hard times and hard drinking; my hometown is a constant source of inspiration. Noah is great lad, a canny chanter and a mean wordsmith. I love the track, and I can’t wait for people to hear it”.
This new version of ‘Homesick’ follows in the footsteps of Noah's other high-profile Stick Season era collaborations, including ‘Dial Drunk’ with Post Malone, ‘She Calls Me Back’ with Kacey Musgraves, ‘Northern Attitude’ with Hozier and more.
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