Super groups can be rousing, but not everyone can handle the inundation of anticipatory buzz that surrounds 3 or 4 well-known musicians combining forces to trek ambitious pathways. Often times the comfortable 1 to 1 warmth of two semi-famous singers conversing in a relaxed duet is all one needs satisfy cravings for collaboration. It’s a style as old as recorded music, as even back to the early work of Dean Martin & Frank Sinatra, you’ll hear familiar voices like Peggy Lee & Dinah Shore right there beside them. Walter Martin of The Walkmen and Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs made their best attempt at a star-crossed alternative duet with their 2014 musical partnership, and their alliance has turned some powerful heads.
Apple has always been masterful in catching eyes and grabbing attention through musically inspired marketing, and they recently struck gold once more with their most recent commercial which utilized the soft likability of “Sing To Me”. In Apple’s latest iPhone 7 Plus commercial, the viewer is caught off guard as a crowd disappears and Walter Martin’s delicate voice lightly murmurs “Butterflies / They fill my guts when I look in your eyes / A heart that’s young is filled with sweet surprise / Only the innocent can sympathize.” Martin essentially lines up a classic star-stricken young couple before viewers are aware that the song is a duet. Karen O lines up that softball of love and knocks it out of the park with her equally quirky and adorable lyrics “I don’t care / about the funny way you wear your hair / Someday you’ll let me put my comb up there / ‘Til then you’re beautiful and I just stare.” The two certainly succeeded in idiosyncratic lyricism, and it’s made for a love story more specific and understandable than the vast majority of banal duets. The yodeling is, as Martin admits, a bit lazy for a repeated chorus, but one seems to get over it with how airy and blithe the song’s rounded tone is in its entirety.