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Hear Flaming Lips and Bon Iver’s Mind-Bender ‘Ashes in the Air’

Pass the vials of Ke$ha’s blood. The Flaming Lips’ joint track with Bon Iver, from the spacey Oklahoma pop pranksters’ upcoming Record Store Day collaborative album, isn’t quite as out there as frontman Wayne Coyne’s recent declaration that a few copies of the vinyl double-LP will come with samples of the actual red stuff from the Lips’ high-profile guest stars. But “Ashes in the Air” (via Consequence of Sound) is still pretty weird. Or, as the Lips glassily intone over rolling snare sounds and flickering electronics in the song’s opening moments: “You and me / We’re both so fucked up.”

Whether that’s “fucked up in the good way” or “fucked up in the bad,” to use the song’s memorable distinction that comes next, will likely depend on how far you want to indulge either of the acts involved. But if you’ve made it this far, the results are without a doubt zanily enjoyable enough to warrant a spin. The patiently plodding six-minute mind-bender mostly focuses on a call-and-response between multi-tracked Lips and a pitched-down Justin Vernon, all singing on what sounds like a space station crumbling. But there’s also plenty of room for a falsetto-soaring hook, choir-like backing vocals, and “robot dogs” — which, presumably, don’t bleed.

The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends is out April 21. Pictures and video snippets from Ke$ha’s memorable throw-down with the band emerged in January; check out the full, ridiculous track list here. No robot dogs were harmed in the writing of this blog post.