It’s been four years since Trent Reznor dubbed avant-garde electronic artist Tobacco’s Sweatbox Dynasty the “record of the year.” Since then, Tobacco has opened for Nine Inch Nails live both with his psychedelic electro-rock group Black Moth Super Rainbow and as a solo artist. Now the two artists have collaborated on a gritty, fuzzy track called “Babysitter.”
“I’m the new babysitter,” Tobacco sings like a robot over a jittery drum line. Both his and Reznor’s vocals on the track are obscured almost to the point of incoherence, and eventually the track grows more and more grotesque with noise until there’s a bit of a reprieve, with childlike bells playing. Maybe they’d make good babysitters after all? The song will appear on Tobacco’s upcoming album, Hot Wet & Sassy, which comes out just in time for Halloween on October 30th and is available for preorder now.
“‘Babysitter’ is like one of those experiments I need to do every once in a while, to see how far I can push it within the constructs of writing a song, without just making noise,” he continues. “[It’s] edging. Probably not that different from how Taylor Swift does it.”
In the years since releasing Sweatbox Dynasty, Tobacco has released a new album with Black Moth Super Rainbow, written the music for HBO’s Silicon Valley and collaborated with Aesop Rock on a project called Malibu Ken.
Reznor, too, has been busy. Most recently, Nine Inch Nails released two instrumental albums — Ghosts V: Together and Ghosts VI: Locusts — and he and Atticus Ross wrote the Emmy-nominated score for HBO’s Watchmen. Nine Inch Nails were also voted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; a virtual induction ceremony will air on HBO in November.