Pop-punk duo Girlpool have released their first new single since last year's much-lauded Powerplant LP. "Picturesong," a collaboration with Blood Orange auteur Dev Hynes, opens up as a worn-out, stoned-mellow synth-pop song with Harmony Tividad and Cleo Tucker singing in ghostlike unison above Hynes's background bass. The three wander around lyrically, and the song is more about absence than anything else: "Into empty space / We're hollow shapes." It breaks into a distorted fuzz for a final verse, but the haunting vocals don't budge.
Hynes's twisted anti-pop and Girlpool's power chord-fuelled melodies wouldn't be the most obvious candidates for joint project, but the success of "Picturesong" makes more sense when you consider that Hynes pulled on just about every hat imaginable in his career before he got around to collaborations with artists like Blondie. Tucker and Tividad aren't afraid of playing with their sound either, as the radical jump from their debut Before the World Was Big to Powerplant showed (and that's before you get to Tividad's occasionally glitchy solo stuff). Collaborations like these should happen more often; artists should take risks like this; Dev Hynes should release a new album now, please.
"Picturesong is a word invented to explore what we create in each other when we want to feel deep love because of loneliness or otherwise, and brings into question the reality and delusion of the things we feel," Girlpool said in a statement.
Hynes, who has been teasing a follow-up to 2016's magnificent Freetown Sound, added: "I'm such a fan of Girlpool, and loved working with them. Their harmonies are some of my favourites that are out there."
Listen to "Picturesong" below.
Follow Alex Robert Ross on Twitter.
This article originally appeared on Noisey US.