Bruce Hornsby invited Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon to join him in the studio for a serene new song, “Cast-Off,” that will appear on his upcoming album, Absolute Zero. The two artists trade off vocals about loving someone so much they’d be OK with being someone’s castoff. “I’ll be your castoff,” they sing. “I’ll be your discarded toy/Be your rejection foil.”
The record, which also features contributions from yMusic, Blake Mills and Jack DeJohnette, among others, is due out April 12th.
“[‘Cast-Off’] is a song about acceptance and even gratitude in the face of rejection, egoless-ness, patience and humility,” Hornsby said in a statement, via Pitchfork. “This song was put together in Eau Claire, WI last April, starting with an unused film cue, developed and expanded upon in the studio with spontaneous contributions from Sean Carey (who just walked in and started singing), Jeremy Ylvisaker (playing guitar that doesn’t sound like guitar!), Mike Lewis and JT Bates on sax and drums, Brad Cook (and later Noisemaker JV Collier) on bass, and Justin and I taking turns in the vocal booth trading ideas and melodies. Pretty much, mostly concocted right there at April Base!”
Hornsby, whose biggest hit was 1986’s piano-imbued “The Way It Is” (which Tupac turned into “Changes”), received an indie-rock facelift a few years back when he appeared as a guest at a Bon Iver concert and also played with the National, Jenny Lewis, Will Oldham, Phosphorescent and others, during a Grateful Dead tribute. “They’re not just copying me or sampling me,” Hornsby told Rolling Stone of the appreciation. “I think they’re channeling a certain aesthetic and finding their own way to express themselves within it. I’ll take it! I’ll accept the love with great graciousness and appreciation.”