St. Vincent and David Byrne – Love This Giant

The artists who collaborate with ex-Talking Head David Byrne are an eclectic bunch – from legendary Brazilian singer Caetano Veloso to Dirty Projectors and Fatboy Slim. But in US singer-songwriter Annie Clark – better known as St. Vincent – he may’ve found his musical soulmate.

Both Byrne and Clark’s solo careers have been defined by their slick production and uniquely self-aware lyrics, but their first collaborative album Love This Giant feels like a meshing of both artists’ distinctive characters. The album’s first track, ‘Who’, sets the stage with the pair embracing the rich character of their own work, adding eerie harmonies over a mix of jaunty rhythms and minor changes.

But it’s the intense use of brass that sets Love This Giant apart from being a mere merger of Clark and Byrne’s previous work. The rich orchestration that underlies each track gives a sense of warmth that counterpoints the often cold, disconnected lyrics. It’s these contrasts that make Love This Giant one of the most original and thoroughly surprising releases of the year.