One Track Mind: David Byrne and St. Vincent, "Who" (2012)

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Photograph by Tina Tyrell

It’s like a keening angel drops in on this crinkly Talking Heads song, as David Byrne unleashes a series of classic tangled rhythms — only to be one upped by Annie Clark‘s cumulus vocal interludes. From there, the track is regularly thrown off balance by these thrillingly parenthetical bursts of guitar and horns.

Taken together, “Who” represents a deeply interesting amalgam (one part expected, another part all hooky surprise), and a great billboard for the duo’s upcoming full-length collaboration Love This Giant, due on September 11, 2012 via 4AD and Todo Mundo. Clark, the indie chanteuse who calls herself St. Vincent, has been working with Byrne off and one for more than two years, the result of which is said to be 10 co-written cuts — as well as one tune a piece by Byrne and Clark.

Byrne and Clark (coming off St. Vincent’s well-received Strange Mercy) were said to have been inspired by the Mount Wittenberg Orca collaboration in 2010 between Dirty Projectors and Bjork. Byrne and Clark initially met at a charity show held in conjunction with Orca three years ago.

Love This Giant, to be produced by John Congleton, will also include guest appearances by Afrobeat aces Antibalas, as well as The Dap Kings.

This isn’t Byrne’s first collaboration with Clark (perhaps most famous for the harrowing “Cruel” from 2011’s Strange Mercy), though last time she was part of a teeming group of fellow female singers: Byrne’s project Here Lies Love, a 2010 concept album focusing on the life of the former Philippines first lady Imelda Marcos, actually featured Clark and 21 other guest vocalists. Byrne and Clark also appeared on the 2009 benefit set Dark Was The Night.

The duo are reportedly set to tour North America (with a horn section!) in support of Love This Giant, beginning on September 15 in Minneapolis. The set list will apparently include both tracks from the new album, as well as key individual cuts.

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Here are the upcoming dates for David Byrne and St. Vincent:

Sept. 15, 2012: Minneapolis, MN (State Theater)
Sept. 16: Milwaukee, WI (Riverside Theater)
Sept. 18: Chicago, IL (Chicago Theatre)
Sept. 20: Toronto, ONT (Queen Elizabeth Theater)
Sept. 21: Montreal, QUE (Eglise St-Jean Baptiste (POP Montreal))
Sept. 23: Boston, MA (Orpheum Theatre)
Sept. 25: New York, NY (Beacon Theater)
Sept. 26: New York, NY (Beacon Theater)
Sept. 27: Philadelphia, PA (Tower Theater)
Sept. 29: Brooklyn, NY (Williamsburg Park)
Sept. 30: N. Bethesda MD (The Music Center at Strathmore)
Oct. 2: Nashville, TN (Ryman Auditorium)
Oct. 3: Atlanta, GA (Cobb Energy Center)
Oct. 5: Austin, TX (Bass Concert Hall)
Oct. 6: Houston, TX (Hobby Center)
Oct. 7: Dallas, TX (McFarlin Memorial Auditorium (SMU))
Oct. 10: San Diego, CA (Humphrey’s)
Oct. 11: Santa Barbara, CA (Arlington Theatre)
Oct. 12: Costa Mesa, CA (Segerstrom Theater for the Arts)
Oct. 13: Los Angeles, CA (Greek Theater)
Oct. 15: San Francisco, CA (Orpheum Theatre)
Oct. 17: Seattle, WA (5th Ave Theatre)
Oct. 18: Portland, OR (Arlene Schnitzer Auditorium)
Oct. 20: Vancouver, BC (Centre in Vancouver for the Performing Arts)

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has written for USA Today, American Songwriter, All About Jazz, and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the U.S. by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Nick is now associate editor of Ultimate Classic Rock.
Nick DeRiso
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