In a collaboration we never saw coming, Sara Bareilles has teamed up with Common on a new song. “The Train” appears in the new indie drama film, All About Nina, which is in select theaters now. The movie stars Common as Rafe alongside Mary Elizabeth Winstead in the titular role. It tells the story of an up-and-coming comedian named Nina Geld, who battles her own demons upon arriving in Los Angeles. Common plays her boyfriend, Rafe.
In addition to acting in the film, Common wrote “The Train” for it with Samora Pinderhughes. Common told Billboard about how his collaboration with Sara came about:
Sara really came in with this bright and lovely spirit. I called her to ask her if she would check the song out and if she’d want to perform on it and she called me right back and she was like “l love the song.” We recorded at Electric Lady Studios in New York, which was Jimi Hendrix’s studio. I used to work there so much with D’Angelo and Erykah Badu and the Roots and Bilal in the early 2000s. When she came in, you could feel the joy she felt in doing the song and she really just wanted to light it up and make it be as powerful and beautiful as possible. I really enjoyed that experience with her.
“The Train” is a lovely, jazzy tune. It starts with a vibrant piano part, percussion and bass filling out the sound. Sara and Common take turns singing the verses, describing the views of Nina and Rafe, respectively. During the choruses, Sara sings about moving forward, a theme that’s present in the bustling, lush music.
Listen to Sara Bareilles and Common on “The Train” below:
There is no information yet on when “The Train” will be available for streaming or purchase.
In addition to “The Train,” Sara Bareilles is currently recording a new album, the followup to 2013’s The Blessed Unrest. Although it’s been five years since her last studio album, Sara has kept plenty busy. It started with a musical called Waitress, for which Sara composed all the songs. It debuted in Boston in summer 2015. That November, a selection of those new songs appeared on Sara’s themed album, What’s Insides: Songs From Waitress. That fall Sara also released a book, Sounds Like Me: My Life (So Far) In Song.
Things didn’t slow down there. In 2016, Waitress went to Broadway; in 2017 – and again earlier this year – Sara took on the lead role of Jenna. She also played Mary Magdalene in NBC’s adaption of Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, composed a song for the SpongeBob Square Pants musical, wrote a song called “Seriously” in light of the 2016 presidential election, and released “If I Dare,” a song she composed for the 2017 film, Battle Of The Sexes. She hosted the Tonys in June, is composing music for a new dramedy series called Little Voice (a reference to her major label debut?), and recently received a prestigious award at the Songwriters Hall of Fame. All things considered, Sara Bareilles is a hard woman to keep up with!
It’s great to hear a new song with Sara’s voice on it, even if “The Train” isn’t necessarily an indication of where she’s going on her forthcoming record. Sara stated in early August that she plans to release a single this year ahead of her political new album! Catch up on all we know about it so far, and keep checking back here for all the latest Sara Bareilles music news.