11 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Aimee Mann and Ted Leo toured together and discovered a musical chemistry that comes to brilliant light on The Both. Each songwriter contributes songs that sound personal, though all were collaborations in the end. The two then perform them with arrangements where both musicians give their input. Leo’s “Milwaukee” benefits from having Mann’s harmony attached; whether Mann and Leo are harmonizing or singing to each other in an emotionally charged call-and-response, their voices work well together (the key to any vocal duo). Leo adds his Thin Lizzy/hard rock guitars to Mann’s somber pop; they also cover the early Thin Lizzy tune “Honesty Is No Excuse,” and Mann lends a prettiness to Leo's power-punk dreams. Mann sweetens Leo’s “Volunteers of America,” while Mann’s “You Can’t Help Me Now” is toughened up by his snarling guitar work. While it’s often obvious who wrote the heart of each song here, it’s a great feeling when Mann and Leo are on equal footing during “The Prisoner,” “Bedtime Stories,” and “The Inevitable Shove,” and you’re not really sure.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Aimee Mann and Ted Leo toured together and discovered a musical chemistry that comes to brilliant light on The Both. Each songwriter contributes songs that sound personal, though all were collaborations in the end. The two then perform them with arrangements where both musicians give their input. Leo’s “Milwaukee” benefits from having Mann’s harmony attached; whether Mann and Leo are harmonizing or singing to each other in an emotionally charged call-and-response, their voices work well together (the key to any vocal duo). Leo adds his Thin Lizzy/hard rock guitars to Mann’s somber pop; they also cover the early Thin Lizzy tune “Honesty Is No Excuse,” and Mann lends a prettiness to Leo's power-punk dreams. Mann sweetens Leo’s “Volunteers of America,” while Mann’s “You Can’t Help Me Now” is toughened up by his snarling guitar work. While it’s often obvious who wrote the heart of each song here, it’s a great feeling when Mann and Leo are on equal footing during “The Prisoner,” “Bedtime Stories,” and “The Inevitable Shove,” and you’re not really sure.

TITLE TIME
3:08
4:21
3:46
3:43
3:16
3:38
4:41
4:04
3:27
4:05
3:50

About The Both

Indie rock icon Ted Leo and much loved singer/songwriter Aimee Mann were touring together in 2012, and while playing in Milwaukee and checking out the sights in between the soundcheck and the show, they had a flash of inspiration and decided to team up as a band. The duo spent the next year writing songs, in back and forth fashion, before rounding up a drummer (Scott Seiver, a well-known session guy who was playing in her band) and a producer (Paul Bryan, who was also in Mann's band). The band, now dubbed the Both, recorded throughout 2013 in Los Angeles, coming up with their debut self-titled album. It was released in April of 2014 on Mann's own SuperEgo label and proved to be a successful collaboration that utilized the best aspects of each member's songwriting and performing skill set to great effect. The record's first single, "Milwaukee," was commemorated by a very funny video that shows off Leo's acting chops. ~ Tim Sendra

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