When I discovered that the marvelous David Byrne and Annie Clark (also known as St. Vincent) were collaborating on an album together, I knew something magical was going to be produced. Yesterday, their collaborative album titled, Love This Giant was finally released. Although I had been listening to the album intently and continuously over the past few days, (thanks to the full stream made available by NPR) I gave the album yet another few listens yesterday since it marked their official album release date.
Love This Giant is everything you could want in a collaboration. The distinct elements which David Byrne and St. Vincent are known for are certainly there, which includes Annie Clark’s angelic voice and David Byrne’s abrupt and unconventional lyrics. There are of course moments where the two musicians have intertwined and produced something the other is not used to, which is the interesting addition of horns! The entire album includes brass instruments in every song. The saxophone and tuba tones paired with the voices of David Byrne and St. Vincent sends an offbeat rhythm down your spine forcing you to bust a move, which is one of the main reasons I am so very excited to see this duo live at the Arlington Theatre in Santa Barbara.
The first track off the album, which was their single titled “Who,” does make you want to do the sort of rigid and jerky dancing the two are precisely performing in the video. Take a peek and press play below.
Several of the tracks off Love This Giant are upbeat despite what their lyrics are attempting to convey. “The One Who Broke Your Heart” inserts a joyful sound of horns and pairs it with Bryne’s almost celebratory voice, “Sing aloud with the one who broke your heart/Sing aloud, it will keep you safe and warm.”
Some other tracks to highlight include “Optimist,” where Clark’s crisp voice sings, “How it is is how it ought to be” over a background mingled with arpeggios. “Weekend in Dust,” is also one of my personal favorites, showcasing Clark’s smooth vocals over an animated beat.
Love This Giant includes complex melodic lyrics, which makes perfect sense considering Clark told The Guardian that when they began this project, “it was less about songs and more about ‘art music’. I don’t mean that in a pejorative way. But over the course of it, we started to veer more towards songs.” The experimental vibes are definitely present and were executed beautifully in Love this Giant without seeming too ‘avant-garde’ or obscure.
Love This Giant is out now and David Byrne and St. Vincent are also on tour! Shimmy over to Love This Giant’s Webpage for more info, and yes you should also consider blasting the album in the background as you head over. Enjoy!