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New Music

New Music: Paul Simon, “Stranger” ft. Nico Segal

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 25: Singer-songwriter Paul Simon performs on stage during the first day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center, July 25, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Philadelphia, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Democratic National Convention kicked off July 25. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

In the musical particulars, are Chance the Rapper and modern-day Paul Simon—known for his wordy, speak-song verses—all that different? This is the question which the newest Paul Simon recording forces you to ask yourself. The song, “Stranger,” is an amalgamation of two tracks from Simon’s June album, Stranger to Stranger‘s “The Clock” and “The Werewolf,” backed and drastically overhauled by Nico Segal (formerly Donnie Trumpet) and Nate Fox of Chance’s default ensemble, the Social Experiment. On Twitter, Segal called Simon “one of [his] alltime heroes.”

It’s a spacey listen, with a pleasantly atmospheric instrumental introduction, before Simon’s conversational, almost-too-intimate vocals enter to steer the action in a new direction. Lines like, “Life is a lottery, a lot of people lose / And the winners, the grinners, with money-colored eyes / Eat all the nuggets then they order extra fries,” juxtaposed with a refrain of “The werewolf’s coming” feels timely for a November 2016 release by a group of American musicians.

Listen to the track below via Paul Simon’s YouTube channel.