Since the beginning of recorded history, music has lent itself extraordinarily well to collaborative efforts, especially in the realm of singing. You know the ones – David Bowie and Freddy Mercury on “Under Pressure”, Maynard James Keenan and Chino Moreno on “Passenger”, or for a slightly different example, Faith No More’s Mike Patton fronting Dillinger Escape Plan on their EP, Irony Is A Dead Scene. Needless to say, there are plenty of opportunities for bands and musicians of disparate genres (or even similar ones) to create something great together.
Let’s imagine, for a minute, a world where these collaborations happened more often. With modern technology, it’s a lot easier to do than it was, say, 30 years ago. Much of alternative music could make cross-genre pollinating a real force for unity, and in a world where many scenes continue to segregate themselves, the possibilities are simply endless.
Without further ado, here’s ten musical collaborations we’d absolutely love to see happen. Some are a bit outlandish (Brendon Urie and…who?!) while for others, it’s a bit shocking they haven’t happened yet (Alcest and Emma Ruth Rundle). Enjoy our irrelevant and possibly silly (just kidding) musical analysis below.
PVRIS // From Indian Lakes or Tycho
Listen to PVRIS’s “Anyone Else”, off their most recent record, and you might see where such a collaboration would work with the icy, chilling vibes of Tycho’s “A Walk” – or really anything from the electronic musician’s Dive or Awake records. Or the last two records from indie rock band From Indian Lakes, especially Everything Feels Better Now as a whole. The foray into full-on dream pop has served the latter well, and it would certainly be interesting to hear vocalists Lynn Gunn and Joey Vannucchi collaborate on a track that combines both their strengths.
Silent Planet // Julien Baker
Silent Planet’s vulnerable and poetic style of post-hardcore/metalcore is intriguing enough on its own, but adding a brilliant singer-songwriter like Julien Baker to the mix? A match made in heaven.
Emma Ruth Rundle // Alcest
This would be tremendous. Emma Ruth Rundle is seemingly always a part of a neat musical project or three, whether it’s her past work in Red Sparowes, her impeccable solo work, or her recent material with the shoegaze/post-rock-styled Marriages. Certainly, she’s a multidimensional artist. Rundle also has a long history with Alcest, touring together and playing many a festival as well – so fitting Rundle and Neige on a song would be nearly effortless.
nothing,nowhere. // Moving Mountains
In a sense, this collab has already happened. nothing,nowhere’s blend of (emo)tive hip-hop carries a strong influence from bands like Taking Back Sunday and Dashboard Confessional, but an understated influence is also the dance and echoing crescendos of post-rock. On “Nevermore”, the track simply explodes into a section that wouldn’t be out of place on Moving Mountains’ Pneuma album, or maybe even This Will Destroy You. To hear it happen for real, though, would certainly be a treat.
Brendon Urie (Panic! At The Disco) /// Power Metal Band (Blind Guardian?)
This might be heresy to metal purists, or strange to fans of P!ATD’s modern pop-rock style, but hear me out. Panic! At The Disco’s Brendon Urie’s operatic style would lend itself interestingly well to the power metal of, say, Blind Guardian – or your favorite modern power metal band. The lyrical subjects might be a bit different, but it’s not hard to imagine – after all, Urie has expressed interest in wanting to play metal music, after all.
Blood Youth // Jonathan Davis (Korn)
Blood Youth’s nu-metal infused melodic hardcore seems almost perfect for a guest appearance from Korn vocalist Jonathan Davis. Especially the over-the-top heavy “Visitant”. Considering it’s a song with a vicious, incisive guitar riff, it would be perfect for Davis to come out of nowhere with a guest verse. Maybe a tradeoff with BY vocalist Kaya Tarsus? Keen.
Holding Absence // Chino Moreno (Deftones)
Holding Absence’s brand of emotive, ambient, post-rock influenced post-hardcore (try saying that 3 times fast) displays a shocking amount of influences for such a young band. Chiefly among them? The more ambient and electronic sides of Deftones. Vocalist Chino Moreno has worked with plenty of bands in the scene (Dance Gavin Dance, Dead Poetic, etc), so this wouldn’t be out of place at all.
Steven Wilson // The Ocean Collective
This might be progressive metal heaven for fans of the genre, and it’s not far off considering Porcupine Tree’s heavier material bordered on metal. The Ocean Collective have a fanbase filled with open-minded progressive rock fans as well, and given that Steven Wilson has worked with progressive metal acts like Opeth before, this would be a dream come true.
Meg Myers // Boston Manor
Hearing Meg Myers and Boston Manor team up on a track – especially in a lyrical tradeoff with vocalist Henry Cox – would be fantastic. While this collaboration might not make a lot of sense on paper, there’s a strong pop influence on Boston Manor’s newest record that lends itself to a strong presence like Myers. Hearing Meg Myers over distorted alt-rock power chords like the ones on “Digital Ghost”, though? The end result would probably be gold. Also, this is your friendly reminder to listen to Meg Myers’ solid Take Me To The Disco.
Thousand Below // The 1975
With freshly released new single “Chemical” showing a more accessible, pop-influenced side of Thousand Below, the San Diego post-hardcore band are certainly moving on up in the music world. You really get the feeling TB could pull off a sparse, ambient-influenced ballad on their upcoming album, and given that The 1975 seems to be a band that lots of bands in the alternative scene love, it would be prime to hear a reworked version of “Somebody Else” or even the upbeat, anthemic “Sex”, featuring Thousand Below vocalist James DeBerg.