New sources of music for a male/female vocal duet
March 31, 2014 4:13 PM   Subscribe

My singing partner and I like adventurous music with tricky harmonies. She sings soprano and plays mandolin, I sing alto and play guitar/banjo. We can harmonize by ear, create harmonies as needed, play with arrangements. We like traditional musics, though not exclusively. What music can you suggest for us to try? (Some examples below the fold.)

Traditional musics or musics from different world traditions are great. Here's a sampling of what we perform already, to give you an idea:

Matteo Salvatore -- Mo Ve'La Bella Mia da la Muntagna
Marisa Monte e Rodrigo Amarante -- O Que Se Quer
Tim Eriksen -- Friendship
Lord Franklin

and some Slavic duets, some fado, a Oaxacan ballad, some Appalachian music, and so on.

Where should we explore next? Individual songs and whole traditions (especially if you know good listening sources) are both most welcome. Doesn't have to be a male/female duet as long as the singing is central.

A note: There are many pop-oriented male/female groups I love (Handsome Family, Swell Season), but that's beside the point. We're looking to keep exploring, rather than look for music that's already in the pocket. Thanks in advance!
posted by argybarg to Media & Arts (14 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Oops, I sing tenor.
posted by argybarg at 4:15 PM on March 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Sarah Jarosz
posted by blob at 4:22 PM on March 31, 2014

Best answer: Not male/female, but the Roches? Maggie Roche "has an 'unusual' contralto voice--'almost a baritone.'" As a non-singer, I don't know how tricky their harmonies are, but they're distinctive.
posted by bricoleur at 4:41 PM on March 31, 2014

Best answer: Brown Bird!
posted by quiet coyote at 5:48 PM on March 31, 2014

Best answer: Bulgarian Women's Choir
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:04 PM on March 31, 2014

Gema y Pavel
posted by dr. boludo at 6:53 PM on March 31, 2014

Best answer: This question is tailor made for me.


Milton Nascimento: Anima
Sondre Lerche - Heartbeat Radio (album)
Jump, Little Children: Vertigo (album)
Perpetuum Jazzile's version of "Africa
Steely Dan (most of it - look for "Babylon Sisters")

If you want something really weird and atonal, try Shudder to Think: Pony Express Record (album).
posted by 4midori at 7:48 PM on March 31, 2014

Best answer: La Llorona is beautiful and also a ballad from Oaxaca.
posted by rossination at 7:52 PM on March 31, 2014

Best answer: The song Sonho Meu is a lovely vocal duet, if you feel like singing in Brazilian Portuguese.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 8:43 PM on March 31, 2014

Best answer: Ooh I think I'd love your music.

Try the Flemish group Lais (here's Isabelle)
posted by miaow at 8:55 PM on March 31, 2014

Best answer: Can't link from here, but:
Dave Carter & Tracy Grammer - "Tanglewood Tree" or "Kate and the Ghost of Lost Love". Gorgeous.
posted by jeffjon at 6:02 AM on April 1, 2014

Best answer: Freight Hoppers Warfare. The albums are largely instrumental (Appalachian/Old-time), but their vocal tracks are really interesting, especially their gospel selections (which tend to be kind of creepy in my opinion).
posted by aimedwander at 6:37 AM on April 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Rising Appalachia does both Appalachian and world music, and has some very cool sister harmonies: I'll Fly Away , Zavedi me Lalino
posted by Nibbly Fang at 11:13 AM on April 1, 2014

Response by poster: Every answer here is on the dot. Thanks so much. I dragged a bunch of the recommended tracks and artists into this Spotify playlist. Good listening!
posted by argybarg at 11:29 AM on April 1, 2014

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