Some combinations just make sense. The combination of Amen Dunes and Westerman is one of those. Last year, Damon McMahon, the New York musician who records as Amen Dunes, released the rich and thoughtful rock album Freedom. He ended it with the lovely, languid track “L.A.” Today, McMahon has released a new version of “L.A.,” and he’s gotten help from the London singer and songwriter known as Westerman, who we made a Stereogum Band To Watch last year.
Westerman didn’t remix “L.A.” Instead, Damon McMahon did that himself. He kept much of “Freedom” intact — the ringing guitars, the ominous synth-tones, the driving drums, the slow-build structure. But now, the song is a duet, with McMahon and Westerman trading off lines on a longer version of the track. The two artists were always very much on the same wavelength. They’re both individual rock travelers who function as bedroom home-recording types more than old-school bandleaders. They both make emotional, internal road-trip music. And they sound good together. If this remix leads to more collaborations, that would not be a bad thing.
Below, listen to the new “L.A.” remix, as well as the original version of the track.
Freedom is out now on Sacred Bones. You can buy the Westerman-assisted “L.A.” remix at Bandcamp.