Oh, when David Byrne and St. Vincent go marching in. The funky brass on “Who,” the first listen from the former Talking Heads frontman’s previously reported team-up with the shredding-capable indie-pop singer and songwriter also known as Annie Clark, turns out not to be an anomaly. Pre-orders of their September 11 collaborative album Love This Giant come with an instant, high-quality MP3 download of “Weekend in the Dust,” again features a muscular horn section. Clark takes the lead vocal this time, her snake-like melody neatly complementing the jagged guitar riff, all over what sounds like a jazzy drum loop. Fans of the undulating, artsy rock of Dirty Projectors, ex-DPs vocalist Angel Deradoorian, or underrated New England-born artist White Hinterland should find plenty to like here.
Byrne and Clark wrote 10 of the songs for their new 12-track album together, including “Weekend in the Dust,” according to a fan newsletter quoted by Consequence of Sound. “David came up with some brass riffs and swells that sounded pretty funky,” the newsletter is quoted as saying. “Annie then wrote a cool vocal melody with words over it. We both arranged her vocal and other elements of the track a bit further — still working with horn samples temporarily.” Saturday Night Live bandleader Lenny Pickett, a former Tower of Power member whose current group is the Borneo Horns, ultimately arranged the track, the newsletter explained.
Fans who pre-order Love This Giant won’t only get “Weekend in the Dust” early. They’ll also receive a digital copy of the album via e-mail a day ahead of its official release. From the sound of it, the record won’t be so much like Byrne’s landmark sample-based My Life in the Bush of Ghosts collaboration with Brian Eno back in 1981, the pair’s more serene meeting of minds Everything That Happens Will Happen Today, or even Clark’s own confidently eclectic Strange Mercy. Though St. Vincent’s baroque sensibilities are clear here, so far Love This Giant sounds, fittingly, like itself. Big, big love.