In the realm of fascinating musical collaborations, the name “DAVID BYRNE” is generally synonymous with “the best.” His collaborations with Brian Eno led to one of the best albums of the 1980s, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts; his later work with Fatboy Slim produced one of the most ridiculous and weird concept records ever; and his film scores are usually fascinating, excluding Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, of course.
Now, he’s set his sights on collaborating with the indie-fabulous ST. VINCENT, and today they’ve released another track from their upcoming record, Love This Giant, and it's streaming on their website.
In contrast to the earlier-released “Who” (posted below), which featured a typical crazy Byrne vocal, “Weekend in the Dust” is a track that shows off the stylings of Annie Clark, who’s no stranger to collaboration herself. The one absolutely killer track off of Who Killed Amanda Palmer?, “What’s the Use of Wond’rin’?,” a cover of a Rogers & Hammerstein song from the musical Carousel, knew how to use her Disney Princess-like voice to devastating effect, and her duets on the Twilight soundtracks have always vaguely made me less hateful about that entire phenomenon. So, suffice it to say, I’m pretty pleased with the way that this is working out.
“Weekend in the Dust” is kind of a bizarre track, running from a hip-hop beat and a few horns at the beginning down to a full Sufjan Stevens-esque big band breakdown, but it’s Clark’s voice that ties it together. Jumping all over scales and typical logic, her voice matches the energy that’s so prevalent in Byrne’s work throughout his career. It’s also great because she doesn’t succumb to the overwhelming influence and power of his voice, and makes the track her own instead of trying to warble like the other man in the room.
Love This Giant will be out on September 11 on 4AD. Place your pre-orders now, folks -- you’ll want to be in on the Pitchforkian disappointment phase of any decent record’s life way before any of your friends can say “That sucked! Way overrated!” Also, Byrne and Clark (add an “e” to her last name and the pairing sounds like an ad firm from Mad Men) will be stopping by the Orpheum Theater on September 23 to play some solid tunes.
Also, I’ll be turning 22 at midnight that night, but obviously nobody gives a shit about that. Sniff sniff.
Nick Johnston is the summer music intern here at the Boston Phoenix.