Wild Pink – “Hold My Hand” (Feat. Julien Baker)

Wild Pink – “Hold My Hand” (Feat. Julien Baker)

Last year, Wild Pink released the excellent album A Billion Little Lights. Later this year, they’ll follow that LP with ILYSM. The two albums might be coming close together on the calendar, but they reflect huge changes in the life of bandleader John Ross. On the new LP, Ross reflects on his cancer diagnosis and treatment — truly heavy subjects. Ross co-produced the new album with Justin Pizzoferrato and the Antlers’ Peter Silberman, and it’s got appearances from people like J Mascis, Yasmin Williams, Ryley Walker, and Samantha Crain. We’ve already posted the album’s excellent title track, and now we get to hear a new song where Ross duets with Julien Baker.

This is probably a dumb thing to even bring up, but “Hold My Hand” is not a Hootie And The Blowfish cover. Instead, it’s John Ross reflecting on the moment when he was being anesthetized just before the first surgical procedure in his cancer treatment — when one of the people on his surgical team held his hand. It’s a lovely, delicate song, and Ross sings it as a duet with Julien Baker, someone with a long history of singing beautifully about heavy shit. In a press release, John Ross describes the song like this:

I wrote that song right after my first surgery, about lying on the operating table where a member of the surgical team held my hand right before I went under. It sounds kind of arbitrary, and like it shouldn’t have been as impactful as it was, but I felt very comforted and wanted to capture that loving feeling in the song.

I knew pretty quickly that I wanted it to be a duet, and I’m super grateful to Julien for joining me on it. This was one of the first songs we rehearsed together as a band in the studio, and David’s piano part felt great almost immediately. There were a couple moments like that in the recording process where a song just immediately fell into place as soon as we started playing it.

Listen to “Hold My Hand” below.

ILYSM is out 10/14 on Royal Mountain.

more from New Music

Please disable your adblocker or subscribe to ad-free membership to view this article.

Already a VIP? Sign in.