I was brought up listening to Captain Beefheart, Frank Zappa, Miles Davis and Prince, among others. My tastes are varied and accepting, I do not stick to genres just because I feel like I should. I have some terrible pop music in my itunes, sitting next to classic and rare gems.
This time, I'm talking about David Byrne and St. Vincent's album "Love This Giant"
Talking Heads was one of the bands I grew up hearing, that I now tend to listen more to in the Spring and Summer (weird right? I listen to a lot of Tom Waits in the winter, unsurprisingly). Their songs are always positive in sound, even though the lyrics may not have such happy connotations. Unfortunately Talking Heads ceased to be in 1991, when I was 2, but it's what lead singer David Byrne, of over-sized suit and crazy dancing fame, has been up to since (and during that time) that I also love.
In 1981, 8 years before I was born, Byrne teamed up with Brian Eno to record "My Life in the Bush of Ghosts". I only just discovered this album (via my ever-knowledgeable boyfriend) a few years ago and was surprised to read the release date. As with many ground-breaking records, it could have been a modern release. One of the first albums to use samples, "My Life..." is bizarre, created out of "found" objects, from the instruments used to the vocals sampled (one of which is the voice of an exorcist). Find time to play it. Loudly.
Between then and 2012, Byrne has done a lot of other things. Albums, talks, exhibitions, etc, but that would involve rambling a lot and I just wanted to mention "My Life in the Bush of Ghosts" before getting on with the main point.
I hadn't previously heard much from St. Vincent, although she has worked with David Byrne on various projects. This collaboration was initially only going to be for a single live performance, but once brass was added to the musical line-up, they were inspired to use that sound as a base to write the rest of the music. They began in 2009, and released the album in September 2012.
What I love about the music they created is each little inspiration and mood both parties brought to the sound, and the strong brass moving throughout. The album is uplifting yet melancholic.
They released "Who" as the first single, with this music video.
David Byrne and St. Vincent are touring Northern America and Europe from June to September, so make sure you catch them! I'll be seeing them at The Roundhouse in London on August 27th.