Unifying jaded, disaffected generations across lonely bedrooms and darkened dance floors, The Cure’s Robert Smith has teamed up with Toronto’s Crystal Castles for one of the sharpest electro tracks of the year. The legendary goth front man has lent his yearning vocals to the experimental glitch-pop duo’s latest single, a cover of Platinum Blonde's 1984 semi-hit “Not In Love.” It drops Dec. 6 off Fiction Records, a UK-based label that houses both artists, and the b-sides will feature acoustic Crystal Castles demo tracks.
The suddenly-searing re-recording of “Not In Love," originally buried toward the end of Crystal Castles’ sophomore April album, once featured a muted and distorted vocal loop. But Smith’s moody, elder-wise contribution takes the washed-out synth track and gives it a pop personality it lacked before; had this version appeared on the album, it likely would have stood out alongside other fiery digital punk cuts “Celestica” and “Baptism.”
Meanwhile, 2010 has been a busy year for Smith’s non-Cure interests. According to the always-enjoyable Slicing Up Eyeballs blog, Smith contributed a solo number to Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland soundtrack, tossed his voice on a 65daysofstatic song and recorded a John Martyn cover for an as-yet-unreleased tribute album in the name of the deceased British songwriter.
Crystal Castles will tour North America in early 2011, and play the House of Blues in Boston on March 19.