The musical equivalent of blending estrogen and testosterone sometimes yields a beautifully crafted sonic love child.
Below is a list of gifted men and women who—following in the footsteps of those all-time greats like Emmylou and Gram, Ike and Tina, or Jack and Meg—have joined forces to bring the best of their respective genders to create a more perfect union.
Though some of the artists listed below aren’t coupled up with the spark of cupid’s romantic arrow, their unions are brilliant nonetheless.
After studying Philosophy together in college, Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley went on to get married, sail the world and form sunny indie-pop band, Tennis.
19. David Wax Museum
Suz Slezak and David Wax merge Americana and Mexican music to forge Mexo-Americana.
18. The xx
Although The xx is technically a trio, the banter between Oliver Sim and Romy Madley Croft brings forth dark, contrasting vocals that are rare and complimentary to one another.
Briana Cartwright and producer Brook D’Leau dip into a plethora of genres, melding electronica, funk, hip-hop and alt-rock.
16. The Raveonettes
This Danish duo of Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo is known for their dark undertones and heavy harmonies.
15. Angus and Julia Stone
Australian siblings Angus and Julia Stone forge blues and folk compositions that compliment their low tempo acoustic melodies
14. Wye Oak
Jenn Wasner carries the lead on vocals and plays guitar while Andy Stack sings back-up and alternates between drums and keys for Baltimore band Wye Oak. Their recent record Civilian has received high praise for it’s dreamy folk genius.
13. Fiery Furnaces
Brooklyn-based brother-and-sister Matthew and Eleanor Friedberger play challenging progressive rock duo whose instrumentation is often seeped with sounds of the past.
12. The Kills
American singer Alison Mosshart (The Dead Weather) and British guitarist Jamie Hince make up The Kills, a rock pair known for their minimalistic approach. They released their fourth studio Blood Pressures in April.
11. The Ting Tings
Anyone who recently saw Horrible Bosses might have heard The Ting Tings without knowing it, when Charlie Day’s character spastically sang the lyrics to their hit song, “That’s Not My Name.” The English pair includes Jules De Martino and Katie White.
10. Mates of State
Husband and wife Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel have been producing indie-rock gems for 14 years and their seventh studio album Mountaintops is set for release next month.
9. Matt & Kim
Another Brooklyn-based pop pairing, Matt Johnson plays keys while Kim Schifino plays drums, and the two share vocals. Many of their songs are featured in popular TV sitcoms like Community, Entourage and Skins.
8. Beach House
French native Victoria Legrand sings and plays organ and Baltimore born Alex Scally performs guitar and keys. The two have received critical acclaim for their ethereal-pop prowess, and their 2010 record Teen Dream garnered commercial popularity.
7. She & Him
One of the most endearing pairs of all time, the angelic Zooey Deschanel sings vintage vocals alongside producer/guitarist M. Ward.
6. The Rosebuds
Ivan Howard and Kelly Crisp create dance-able gloom tunes and, despite a recent divorce, their latest record Loud Planes Fly Low maintains that durable dynamic. They’re currently opening Bon Iver’s summer tour.
5. The Civil Wars
Joy Williams and John Paul White found fame after their song “Poison and Wine” debuted on Grey’s Anatomy, and their shout-outs from Taylor Swift and Adele probably didn’t hurt either. But even before their deserved recognition, they were a strong force fueled by powerful songwriting and heartfelt melodies.
4. Sleigh Bells
Stomping out of the gate in 2010, with energy unmatched, Derek Miller and Alexis Krauss released the best noise we’ve heard in some time with Treats.
3. The Belle Brigade
Barbara and her younger brother Ethan Gruska emerged just this year with a fun, thoughtful self-titled record. Genetic pairing must just produce the best harmonies.
2. The Swell Season
Another Irishman, Academy Award-winning songwriter Glen Hansard of The Frames and multi-talented Czech singer and actress Markéta Irglová share a rare dynamic. Anyone who’s seen their melancholic musical Once can truly understand.
1. Gillian Welch and David Rawlings
Americana sweetheart (and recent Paste cover artist) Gillian Welch has been writing and singing some of the best roots music since the mid ‘90s with her partner, guitarist David Rawlings, including the brilliant new album The Harrow & The Harvest, released in June.