David Byrne is soon to turn 70 years old. That is a fact that proves startling from the first second of the latest futurist song that he has been involved in, the brand-new single ‘Always be You’ by Byrne and Montaigne.
Despite his years heading northwards, the song queues up an awful pun from yours truly: They should call him David Brine because he’ll always be fresh (very sorry about that). Although the youthful sound might initially seem incongruous with Byrne, he lends his timeless melodic sensibility to it and wrestles a rather jarring verse structure into symphonic focus.
This odd mix of dissonance and disjointed time scales running alongside upbeat harmonious moments is something that continues throughout the song and always makes it a pop ditty with a twist of zesty lime. In truth, despite what you might think of the song itself there is no doubting the strength of the collaboration in this regard. You might be mistaken into thinking the former Talking Heads star and the Australian pop sensation had worked together previously, but that isn’t the case.
As Byrne explains: “Jess [Montaigne] approached me about singing on a song, or a possible collaboration and to be honest I had not heard of her. After my current show was safely up and running, I checked out her new and old songs and quickly responded, yes! How could I have not been aware of this person? Someone I imagine might occasionally get labelled ‘quirky’—as I often am.”
As I’ve already banged on about, that quirkiness certainly keeps the song fresh as it zips along, but it doesn’t always keep it savoringly palatable. There are moments amid the jolting repetition when you wish the whole thing would soothe out again, but thanks to the fact that it soon does, you can’t be spun out with the ditty for long. Innovative and crisp, it never becomes seamless enough or lyrically inviting to delve into the depths, nevertheless you can happily bop along with the bountiful pleasantries on the surface.
You can out the video for ‘Always be You’ below.