Atoms For Peace
October 2, 2013
Last Wednesday, I had the privilege of witnessing a live Atoms For Peace performance for the second time in my life. The first time I had the pleasure of seeing this rare supergroup perform was at Coachella in 2010. Fellow LxL’er Wes and I were lucky enough to land spots right next to Jay and B (seriously) near the sound stage and were gifted a performance of a lifetime. One that I thought I would never have the opportunity to see again. Luckily, that would not be the case, and after haggling my way into a cheap general admission floor seat, I was gifted that opportunity once again.
We decided it was finally time to make a list concerning the combination of kindred vocals. Duets that is. A guy and a girl is the most popular concoction, but there is certainly room to wiggle with that formula on this list. For frame of reference, we attempted to stay away from two very specific types tracks that may be considered duets. The first area is hip hop tracks. R&B tracks are fine, as long as they don’t interfere with the next criteria, but it seems every hip-hop song has multiple rappers, or at the least one rapper and someone else for the hook. Just seemed a little too muddled. The second criteria we aimed to stay away from were artists that have two vocalists, where almost every one of their tracks might be able to be considered duets. Sorry, but we were looking for duets where the source recording is at most part of a one-off album. As always, I think we crafted a solid list, but am certain we missed something along the way. Feel free to offer suggestions, and enjoy.
10. The Postal Service & Jenny Lewis – “Nothing Better”
Ben Gibbard & Jenny Lewis combine for an electonic-infused back and forth on The Postal Service’s 2003 track “Nothing Better”. The conversational tone of Gibbard and Lewis vocals is about as fun as it gets, and makes us thirst for more than just a Postal Service tour reunion. Record a new album!
Atoms for Peace
Atoms for Peace started very differently than many supergroups: on tour. The project started when Thom Yorke, frontman of Radiohead, released a sparse electronic solo album called The Eraser all the way back in 2006. In 2009, Yorke got the idea to tour the album he created mostly with his laptop with a live, organic band to bring it fully to life. Thom Yorke assembled a heavily percussive band in Flea (bass) of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Joey Waronker (drums) of Beck and numerous other alt-rock projects, Mauro Refosco (percussionist) of Forro In The Dark, and legendary Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich (programming, producer) to make this mostly synthesized, glitchy album full-bodied and warm-blooded. The nameless band debuted The Eraser and some fresh material live at the EchoPlex in L.A. in October 2009, and something really sparked with this all-star lineup. A full-blown U.S. tour would follow in 2010, as well as deciding on a name for the band in Atoms for Peace, coming from the Eraser song of the same name. Now, four years since its conception, the band releases their debut album in Amok, which many will call a followup to Thom Yorke’s The Eraser, but is a sound entirely new bringing the strengths of each member to bear.
Now that 2012 is in the rearview mirror and we have properly summed up all the best stuff from last year, it’s time to push ahead to what awaits us this year. Here are five songs from five upcoming albums we can’t wait for.
The past 24 hours have been quite the wellspring of music news. From leaky twitter accounts, to legitimate releases, some of the bigger names in music seem to have tracks just dropping from the sky quicker than the snow that is currently falling outside my window. Yesterday, Thom Yorke’s collaborative group Atoms for Peace (consisting of Flea, Nigel Godrich, Joey Waronker, Mauro Refosco, and of course, Thom) released my favorite track of 2013 thus far. Seeing as how it is only the eighth day of the year this may not seem tough, but give it a listen for yourself and see if you think differently.