veritas exquirere


veritas exquirere


veritas exquirere


Listening with Lindsay: Best Collabs

The best collaborations are the ones that traverse style and genre, creating something truly special for both the fans and the artists.

What’s better than your favorite artist releasing new music? Releasing new music featuring your other favorite artists. From rock to rap, country and pop, collaborations have brought together some of music’s greatest stars, reenvisioning music and transforming songs into something greater.

For the purposes of this list, I am defining collaborations as songs in which another artist is featured vocally. The artists are not normally associated with each other such as Simon & Garfunkel, but came together to create a new song or cover together.

In no specific order, below I have included my ten favorite music collaborations:

Lindsay’s Top 10 Music Collabs
1. Till Forever Falls Apart - Ashe, FINNEAS

Co-written about their friendship, Ashe and FINNEAS speak about a connection deeper than love, but a bond that is cemented into our souls. Whether it's between lovers, friends, or family, they describe a love so powerful that not even the end of the world could tarnish their emotions. The lyrics discuss two individuals who navigate the complexities of life in the face of the inevitable passing of time. Ashe and FINNEAS’s voices create feelings of nostalgia and reflection, creating an emotional response from fans.

Favorite Line: “So this is it, that’s how it ends/ I guess there’s nothing more romantic than dying with your friends"

2. Don’t Go Breaking My Heart - Elton John, Kiki Dee

This classic duet is the epitome of a loving and playful relationship. From teasing apprehension to confessions of love, “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” shares the excitement of newly found love. With Elton John on the piano and Kiki Dee’s alluring charm, this feel-good love ballad always makes me sing along.

Favorite Line: “So don’t misunderstand me/ You put the light in my life/ Oh, you put the spark to the flame/ I got your heart in my sight”

3. Lovely (with Khalid) - Billie Eilish

As one of Eilish’s darker songs, “lovely” is a haunting, yet soft piece that discusses her battle with depression. Actively sharing her experiences and struggles has allowed thousands of fans to connect with her music on an emotional level. Both Khalid’s and Eilish’s voices blend in harmony to break mental health stigmas and convey an important message to today’s youth.

Favorite Line: “Oh, I hope someday I’ll make it out of here/ Even if it takes all night or a hundred years”

4. Exile (feat. Bon Iver) - Taylor Swift

This wouldn’t be a “Listening with Lindsay” article if I didn’t mention Taylor Swift. As the pop star continues to record, release and re-release music, her catalog of collaborations continues to grow. However, “exile” stands alone as Swift’s gut-wrenching lyrics and Bon Iver’s signature folk sound create a nostalgic atmosphere that resonates with listeners. The song itself deals with heartbreak and separation, illustrating a conversation between two former lovers reflecting on their failed relationship. 

Favorite Line: “I think I’ve seen this film before/ And I didn’t like the ending/ You’re not my homeland anymore/ So what am I defending now?”

5. All The Stars (with SZA) - Kendrick Lamar

SZA joins Kendrick Lamar in this combination of pop, hip-hop and R&B. Released in 2018 as a part of the “Black Panther” soundtrack, the song is a tribute to themes of power, authenticity and identity. Lyrically, the track addresses the complexities of fame and success in a world full of challenges and obstacles. Even as a casual listener of both hip-hop and R&B, I will continually add this song to my playlists.

Favorite Line: “I don’t even want your congratulations/ I recognize your false confidence and calculated promises all in your conversation”

6. If We Were Vampires (feat. Wesley Schultz) - Noah Kahan

Similarly to Taylor Swift, Noah Kahan’s anthology has many collaborations, but “If We Were Vampires” is my favorite. Released in May of 2023 featuring Wesley Schultz, lead singer for The Lumineers, this song paints a picture of life and the inevitability of death, juxtaposed with romantic love. Kahan uses vampires as a metaphor, creatures known for immortality, to pose questions about what life and love would be like without time as a variable. With the track in Kahan’s folk-pop style accompanied by his signature acoustic guitar, the message of the song shines bright.

Favorite Line: “Maybe time running out is a gift/ I work hard ‘till the end of my shift/ And give you every second I can find/ And hope it isn’t me who’s left behind”

7. After The Storm (feat. Tyler, The Creator & Bootsy Collins) - Kali Uchis

Released in 2018, “After The Storm '' blends aspects of R&B, hip-hop and funk. The song successfully combines Uchis’s vocals, Tyler, The Creator’s stylish rap and funk legend Bootsy Collins's solid foundation. The chorus reminds listeners that life will get better, even in its darkest moments. To achieve a brighter future, we need to work for what we want by staying positive in difficult times.

Favorite Line: “So if you need a hero/ Just look in the mirror/ No one’s gonna save you now/ So you better save yourself”

8. Ain't No Mountain High Enough - Marvin Gaye, Tammi Terrell

From “Remember the Titans” and “Guardians of the Galaxy” to “The Sandlot,” Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s duet is a timeless classic. Sharing the story of a love that knows no bounds, the pair confess their unwavering feelings through their commitment to overcome any obstacle to be with each other. This powerful soul and R&B anthem has truly stood the test of time and is one of my favorite songs of all time.

Favorite Line: “From that day on, I made a vow/ I’ll be there when you want me/ Some way, somehow”

9. Empire State Of Mind - JAY-Z, Alicia Keys

“Empire State Of Mind” is a hip-hop and R&B celebration of New York City. From Jay-Z’s rhymes on sharing his personal rise to fame in the city to Alicia Keys’s powerful vocals in the chorus, this collab captures the energy and diversity of New York City. Since its release in 2009, the song has evolved into an iconic representation of urban culture.

Favorite Line: “I’m the new Sinatra, and since I made it here/ I can make it anywhere, yeah, they love me everywhere”

10. You’ve Got a Friend in Me - Rex Orange County, Randy Newman

Originally composed and performed by Randy Newman for the 1995 animated film classic “Toy Story,” this new take on a beloved childhood classic is the perfect collaboration of old and new music. Newman’s raspy, yet warm voice brings a sense of familiarity while Rex Orange County provides his indie-pop sound for a youthful flair. This ballad about friendship and loyalty is now being introduced to new audiences as this collaboration gives the song a fresh perspective.

Favorite Line: “Boy, and as the years go by/ Our friendship will never die/ You’re gonna see it's our destiny/ You’ve got a friend in me”


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Lindsay Gould
Lindsay Gould, Editor-in-Chief
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