Anoushka Shankar and Norah Jones have big shoes to fill. Daughters of Indian music legend Ravi Shankar by two different mothers, they were raised by a man who played with the Beatles and almost single-handedly introduced the West to the magic of the sitar.
Shankar specializes in sitar, which she learned from her father, and she rarely sings; Jones is known for her beautiful, raspy voice and prowess on piano and guitar. Both have collaborated with a long and prestigious list of musicians, though none perhaps as close to their hearts as one another.
The two have worked together before, but in the aftermath of their father's death in December 2012, their collaborations took on a whole new dimension. Shankar's death occurred in the midst of Anoushka's recordings for her seventh album, "Traces of You." Norah features on three of the tracks in the album, including the forthcoming single, "The Sun Won't Set." As Anoushka told Rolling Stone, "This song was a great example of putting in work first in order to enable spontaneity. I sent a rough mock-up to Norah and she liked it."
Reaching out to Norah may have been, Rolling Stone suggests, an attempt on Anoushka's part to cope with the pain of losing her father. Discussing "Unsaid," another song on the album, Anoushka told The Wall Street Journal:
A few weeks after my father’s passing, I couldn’t sleep on the flight to New York, and wrote the lyrics for ‘Unsaid’ during that journey. When I reached New York, my sister Norah took those lyrics and almost immediately began to sing it in the melody she ended up using on the record. My solo flowed naturally out of me in response to her singing. There was a way in which I felt very open to discovery, rather than focused on a fixed destination, and that openness is what led me to a song that means a lot to me. Norah’s singing is really beautiful here, as always, but I find it particularly moving.
"Traces of You" releases in the U.S. on October 22 and is available for preview and pre-order on iTunes. Listen to the new song above.
[via Rolling Stone]