David Byrne & St. Vincent

David Byrne
photo by Cataling Kulczar

Out of the blue as it was, this cross-generational pairing of art-pop oddballs makes such perfect sense it's a wonder nobody thought of it sooner. Besides, whatever you could possibly imagine the former Talking Heads singer and Dallas-bred indie guitar queen cooking up in the studio, it probably doesn't sound anything like their collaboration, Love This Giant (4AD). Part stately brass chorale, part spicy mambo party, part exotic '60s spy-movie soundtrack, Giant is one of the most beguiling and refreshing albums of the year, and an almost certain lock for many 2012 Top 10s.

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