There’s nothing like that feeling when your current favourite artists teams up with one of your all-time favourite musical icons. This happens every so often — some collaborations unlikely, others happily expected — and when it does, it’s beautiful. Here is our list of some of the best collaborations between new and old artists.
St. Vincent and David Byrne
Byrne and Annie Clark spent nearly four years working on Love This Giant together, a studio album that was born out of a Talking Heads meets St. Vincent collaboration. The two met in 2009 at a benefit concert, however, the collaboration was officially inspired by a show that both artists attended that featured an on-stage collab with Björk and Dirty Projectors.
Crystal Castles and Robert Smith
When Crystal Castles released the second cut of their cover of Platinum Blonde’s “Not In Love,” they completely surprised fans with the addition of Robert Smith’s vocals. The song was originally done without The Cure’s lead singer, whose distinctive vocals proved to be the unlikely perfect match to Crystal Castles’ angsty club beats.
Arcade Fire and David Bowie
David Bowie has a long list of collaborations with new indie artists, but one of the most commonly looked over is the work he did on Arcade Fire’s song “Reflektor.” Bowie made a guest vocal appearance in that song, which became the band’s highest charting song in Canada at that time.
Lana Del Rey and Stevie Nicks
When it was first discovered that Del Rey was going to collaborate with Stevie Nicks on her new album, nobody could imagine what, exactly, that collaboration would sound like. At first glance, both artists have very distinct, unique voices that are in many ways very different. When “Beautiful People Beautiful Problems” was released, however, everything made absolute sense. The two singer’s voices came together in perfect concordance, and left us all wanting more (Seriously, a full Lana-Stevie album would be a great thing).
Josh Homme and Iggy Pop
Judging by the way Homme talks about collaborating with Iggy Pop, it sounds like producing the rock star’s eighteenth studio album was probably one of the best moments of his life. The Queens of the Stone Age singer and guitarist produced Post Pop Depression in secret at first, but later revealed the collab to fans following the album release.
Dan Auerbach and The Pretenders
Chrissie Hynde initially perceived Alone to be a follow up to her solo album Stockholm, however, after working on the music with Auerbach, it was decided that Alone would be an album by The Pretenders. The album was produced by Auerbach and recorded in his studio in Nashville.
Skrillex and The Doors
Skrillex’s “Breakn’ a Sweat” features guest vocals from the surviving members of The Doors. The song is the fourth track on Skrillex’s EP Bangarang, and is a solid example of an unlikely pairing making something worth listening to.
Benjamin Booker and Mavis Staples
New Orleans’ Benjamin Booker made his return this year with the release of “Witness,” a song that assesses racism, police violence, and the current state of America. Booker teamed up with Gospel icon Mavis Staples, who sings the chorus. Staples’ bright vocals provide the perfect contrast to Booker’s bluesy bits, making for a powerful collaboration and single.
Jack White and Neil Young
On an episode of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Neil Young and Jack White made music history when they recorded a song right there on the live show and pressed it straight to vinyl. The song was a cover of Willie Nelson’s “Crazy,” which was performed by Young and pressed to 6″ vinyl by White.