Saxophone guru Colin Stetson collaborates four times with Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon on New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light, due out on April 30 via Constellation (read Stetson’s In the Studio interview with SPIN). Earlier this month, though, another joint venture between the two arrived on iTunes, on a single by U.K. singer-songwriter Fink via the Ninja Tune label. Stetson and Vernon’s droning, austere reworking of the A-side, Fink’s “Warm Shadow,” has been circulating online in recent days, and it’s easy to see why.
The original, from Fink’s 2011 Perfect Darkness, is bleakly creaking folk reminiscent of José González, and it doesn’t much need the help: A remix already features alongside Of Monsters and Men and Delta Spirit on this week’s The Walking Dead AMC Original Soundtrack — Vol. 1. But Vernon’s falsetto, which here brings to mind TV on the Radio, and Stetson’s beehive sax buzzing translate an already-captivating song into arid abstraction that might better appeal to those who don’t really “do” singer-songwriters.
At first their “Warm Shadow” doesn’t feel warm at all, but burrow into the song on subsequent listens and it’s a fine place to hibernate.