US star Noah Kahan has teamed up with Sam Fender on new collaborative single ‘Homesick’, after both artists teased the collab.
‘Stick Season’ singer Kahan teased a track with a mystery artist earlier this month, before Fender confirmed that he was the mystery star that Kahan was set to collaborate with.
Now, the track in question sees Fender adding his vocals to ‘Homesick’, which originally appeared on Kahan’s 2022 album Stick Season and sees him address his conflicted relationship with his Vermont hometown.
Kahan said: “When I first heard Sam Fender’s music, I stopped what I was doing, started [playing] ‘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. 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.”
He added: “This song was the final push for me to start writing about my own experiences.”
Kahan also recalled how ‘Seventeen Going Under’ was “the very first song we listened to” as he began writing ‘Stick Season’.
“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,” he said.
“When I found out I’d be able to spend the day in Newcastle with Sam, I was nervous but excited. 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.”
Fender added: “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.”
Explaining how Noah visited Newcastle, he added: “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 seafront. Chatting with him about things in both of our pasts made me realise how universal ‘Homesick’ is. We’ve all been that kid.”
Fender explained how he recorded his section of the song in North Shields, 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,” he said. “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.”