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The cover art for The Civil Wars' self-titled album. ( )

Song Premiere: The Civil Wars' 'Dust To Dust' Is An Ode To The End

Jul 22, 2013

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John Paul White and Joy Williams are The Civil Wars

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Reported by

Bob Boilen

Joy Williams and John Paul White are The Civil Wars, a duo of passionate performers. The first time I saw them perform there were such positive sparks flying between them, but these days they can barely speak to one another. The Civil Wars are about to release a new album — their second and probably their last for a while or perhaps forever ... we shall see. Today we have a new song for you by Joy and John Paul, a ballad called "Dust to Dust."

What I like most in this song is also the thing this pair of musicians does best, what Johnny Cash and June Carter did best: a conversation, a duet between two people with underpinnings of tension that add to and even confuse the meaning of the song. "Dust To Dust," seems to be a dialogue between two singers who make every inflection count when they sing:

John Paul: "You're like a mirror, reflecting me"
Joy: "Takes one to know one, so take it from me"
John Paul: "You've been lonely"
Joy: "You've been lonely"
John Paul and Joy: "Too long, We've been lonely, We've been lonely, too long"

The Civil Wars' self titled album comes out August 6. You can pre-order the album now.

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