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The A's, 'He Needs Me'

Sylvan Esso's Amelia Meath and Daughter of Swords' Alexandra Sauser-Monnig have racked up more than a decade working together as part of their folk group Mountain Man. So, for many music aficionados, the two artists' new collab as The A's might look and sound familiar. But where Mountain Man and Sylvan Esso can sound hazy and imprecise under acoustic guitars or electronic production, the musical vision of The A's seems almost shockingly lucid.

The duo's first single — a sparse, harmonic cover of the 1980s Harry Nilsson and Shelley Duvall classic "He Needs Me" — feels like a statement of intent. The two singers harmonize as if they are in your ears, backed by a judicious sprinkling of keys and kooky strings that strike a perfect balance between inquisitive and comforting. There's something here for almost anyone, and you'll be charmed before you know it.

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Nisha Venkat