Two heads are better than one. Great minds think alike. Perhaps idioms such as these are part of the reason why there are so many successful duos in the music industry. The Reservoir catalog is no exception…
SARAH BARTHEL & JOSH CARTER
Most know best friends Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter collectively as Phantogram, the Saratoga Springs, NY-founded alt-rock twosome best known for cuts like “Don’t Move” and “Fall in Love”. Separately, Josh acts as the group’s vocalist/guitarist, while Sarah is its resident vocalist/keyboardist.
When the pair first started working together, Carter provided the majority of the lyrics, but recently the songwriting has become a collaborative experience. In an interview, Barthel mentions how they’d be set up in two separate rooms to work and when writer’s block hits, they’d switch rooms to see what can be done with each other’s work.
Currently the duo is working on a collaborative EP with Big Boi, Big Grams.
EDDIE SMITH III & JESSE RANKINS
It’s no secret that WatchTheDuck’s unique sound comes from Eddie Smith III and Jesse Rankin’s one-of-a-kind combination of electronic music and soulful vocals. The well-oiled WatchTheDuck machine works as well as it does because both guys step aside to support each other in their individual strengths, with producer Eddie encouraging Jesse to unleash his old-school sound on the world, and singer Jesse in turn standing behind the cutting edge elements of Eddie’s EDM-meets-everything production.
JAMIE HARTMAN & PHIL BENTLEY
While not officially a musical duet, Brits Jamie Hartman and Phil Bentley have written together so successfully and for so long that they warranted a spot on our list.
It should be noted that both gentlemen have impressive resumés in their own rights. Originally of Ben’s Brother fame, writer-producer Jamie Hartman has written for many popular artists, the latest of which include James Bay and Marlon Roudette. He’s also found success as a solo artist, with a handful of EPs on the market. Likewise, Phil Bentley has also worked with many well-known artists, among them Tiësto.
Hartman and Bentley fell into a collaborative rhythm a few years ago, with Bentley writing top line and melody, Hartman composing and producing, and both contributing to lyrics. Samples of the pair’s handiwork includes Christina Aguilera’s “Army of Me” and Anastacia’s “Lifeline”.
NATE HILLS & MARCELLA ARAICA
Several know Nate “Danja” Hills for his work on everything from pop hits like Britney Spears’ “Gimme More” to edgier cuts like M.I.A.’s “Bad Girls”. What some may not know is that for years, the hit maker has worked alongside engineer Marcella “Ms. Lago” Araica to perfect his trademark sound. Not only an asset in the studio, Araica sits alongside Danja at the head of New Age Rock Stars (N.A.R.S), the team’s label/management venture.
MARTIN PEDERSON & STINE JACOBSEN
Martin Bøge Pedersen and Stine Hielm Jacobsen were friends for close to two decades before coming together in March of 2009 to create Danish electro-pop band Electric Lady Lab. Their debut album Flash! was released in 2011, and since then they’ve released a string of energetic singles including “Taking Off”, “Alive”, and “Broken Mirrors”. Throughout their repertoire, the twosome stays true to their work style, with Pedersen providing house beats and Jacobsen bringing ethereal vocals to the sound.
While their collaboration is still fairly new, Pedersen and Jacobsen are no strangers to the industry. Pedersen was a founding member of Danish pop duo The Loft, whose debut albumNo Ordinary Man went Gold, with single “City of Dreams” topping Danish radio charts at #1. Meanwhile, Jacobsen formed indie pop bandNU and toured the UK extensively, where she was signed by famed UK music exec Paul Conroy.