“Psycho” must be in the eye of the beholder. Karen O recently appeared on Australia’s Triple J Radio (via TwentyFourBit) in advance of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman’s new “psycho opera,” which opened at the Sydney Opera House last week after debuting in Brooklyn this past October. “It is a bit psycho,” she told the radio DJ, joined in near-silence by YYYs guitarist Nick Zinner, with whom she co-wrote the work’s 10 songs.
After a brief interview, Karen O gave a performance of “Duet,” which she described as a “love song.” The rendition is on YouTube now, and you don’t need to be Norman Bates to get caught up in it. Featuring acoustic guitar and backing vocals by Jason Grisell of New York synth-pop duo Bubbles, this austere, melancholy ballad is much folksier than typical YYYs fare, but no less achingly beautiful. “When we leave, can leave goodbyes behind?” O and Grissell sing in bittersweet harmony. Not desperately hoping for an official Virgens release? Now that’s just crazy.