Download: David Byrne and St. Vincent – Brass Tactics EP (2013)

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David Byrne and St. Vincent continue their brass-focused, ass-wriggling collaboration with Brass Tactics, an EP with this intriguing new track, two throwaway remixes and a pair of terrific live cuts. Download it free here.

“Cissus,” the original track, is a darkly intriguing surprise, with those horns reduced to playing long, elegiac lines. Even as St. Vincent (nee Annie Clark) offers a dreamy verse, however, the song begins constructing a surging musical narrative. Complex rhythms interlace into a more urgent brass signature, and then “Cissus” is gone: this shooting star of a song, brilliant and awe-inducing — and out of sight far too soon.

Less essential are two remixed tracks from their Something Else! Best of 2012 release Love This Giant. M. Stine works on “I Should Watch TV,” and Kent Rockafeller on “Lightning,” with little new insight gained. Still, the set is rounded out by a pair of invigorating live cuts from both Byrne’s and St. Vincent’s prior catalogs.

“Marrow” adds new muscle to what was always a pleading, addictively dark cut from St. Vincent’s 2009 release Actor, while the EP-closing “Road to Nowhere” somehow becomes even more thunderously anthematic than on the Talking Heads’ 1985 effort Little Creatures, where it originally held the same position.

Together with the new cut, Brass Tactics is an all-to-brief reminder of what a chunky, offbeat delight this out-of-nowhere collaboration has been from the beginning.

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This new EP heralds another round of shows for Byrne and St. Vincent, who are trekking across the U.S. and Europe. A highlight includes their stop at next month’s Bonnaroo Festival.

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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