Geordie indie-rocker Sam Fender has teamed up with American singer and songwriter Noah Kahan for a new version of his heartfelt single ‘Homesick’. The track was first released in October 2022 on Kahan’s third studio album ‘Stick Season’, a vulnerable and restless portrait dedicated to his hometown of Strafford in Vermont where he experienced a wholesome but insular upbringing.
Kahan had recently teased a new collab with a ‘mystery artist’, with many fans guessing correctly at the British singer jumping on board. After generating a fair amount of suspicion, the ‘Seventeen Going Under’ singer announced the joint song on social media, commenting:
“I cut my parts in North Shields, on the banks of the Tyne, literally 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. The Geordies are a hilarious bunch, resilient and impermeable to hard times and hard drinking; my hometown is a constant source of inspiration. Noah Kahan is a great lad, a canny chanter and a mean wordsmith. I love the track, and I can’t wait for people to hear it.”
Kahan and Fender’s individual verses both tackle their complicated love-hate relationships with their hometowns. Despite growing up in different parts of the world, Kahan on a remote tree farm, and Fender on a bleak council estate, there is a shared sense of loneliness, and an overwhelming urge to escape.
Recognised as a working-class, former ship-building town in the North East, North Shields remains a central landscape and backdrop in many of Fender’s songs. Both artists perfectly encapsulate the growing pains of moving on from a small town that no longer serves you, while still being able to appreciate the beauty in its simplicity.
‘I stare at that hallowed ocean as if to pick a fight / For the dreams my old man dreamt for me lay on the other side,” Fender sings.
Driven by nostalgia and a pride for his people and their past, it’s clear that Fender also finds himself relishing in returning home, if anything to break a cycle of generational trauma, and to prove just how far he has come.
With a montage of new clips circulating on Instagram, it appears a music video for the single, or a documentary of sorts may also be in the works.
Until then, you can check out Noah Kahan and Sam Fender’s version of ‘Homesick’ in the lyric video below.