Karen O and Danger Mouse have unveiled the first track to come from their surprise collaboration, “Lux Prima.” The track is the first single off an as-of-yet-unnamed joint album, set to be released through BMG.
Danger Mouse is an eminent collaborator. In addition to his countless production credits, he’s dabbled in full-length projects with Cee-Lo Green (Gnarls Barkley), Danger Doom (MF DOOM) and James Mercer of The Shins (Broken Bells). His talent is in elevating his collaborator’s natural talents onto a new, if still familiar, playing field.
With “Lux Prima,” the magic comes in stretching out Karen O’s normally wild, stabbing vocals to the point where they become textural. “Lux Prima” is a nearly orchestral odyssey. Its best moments come when chorus and verse are abandoned in favor of floating aimlessness, nothing accompanying O but a wiggling organ and the occasional errant cosmic violin.
“After making music for the past 20 years and embarking on making this record with Danger Mouse I knew a couple things,” the Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman said in a statement. “One was that the spirit of collaboration between us was going to be a pure one, and two was that the more I live the less is clear to me. When you create from a blurry place you can go places further than you’ve ever been. I think we both were excited to go far out.”
added that “Lux Prima” was the result of searching for a place, rather than a sound. “It was our first shared destination so we thought we’d take our time getting there. The song itself is a bit of a journey, but all the parts felt like they needed each other. So it became our blueprint in a sense,” he recalled. “We wrote the album in deliberate isolation. Along the way asking ourselves lots of questions. We didn’t find many answers, but found it was more about the questions themselves.”
On Dec. 14, the track will be released on a limited-edition white 12” with an etched b-side, available exclusively at independent record stores.
Listen to “Lux Prima” below.