So a little birdie in the office (*cough*Sara*cough*) told me that April was "Superstar Month" for Buzznet. Makes sense since some of this site's very favorite bands Paramore and Fall Out Boy are releasing highly-anticipated albums in the coming weeks. But instead of focusing on what those artists and their own music, I thought I share some of my favorite "surprise cameos" - songs that feature a singer who's voice who may not have expected to pop up.
I'll start with everyone's darling, Hayley Williams. Sure, you've heard her lend her voice to crossover songs like B.o.B.'s immensly popular "Airplanes." Heck, you may have known that she pops up to party with Set Your Goals' on their 2007 song, "The Few That Remain," or sings backup with one of her favorite band's of all-time, mewithoutYou, on its stellar track "Fox's Dream of the Log Flume" (off 2012's Ten Stories). However, a lot of Paramore fans don't know that Hayley adds some haunting vocals on metalcore band The Chariot's disruptive "Then Came To Kill." It's off that band's second album, 2007's The Fiancée, and release before Williams made her star turn with Riot!
As you continue to read this blog, you'll realize that a lot of our favorite vocalists contribute hooks to a lot of metal songs. Another largely unknown one is Fall Out Boy's Patrick Stump supplying the incredibly catchy chorus to Misery Signals' brutal 2005 single, "One Day I'll Stay Home" (from the band's second LP, Mirrors). How did this pairing happy? Well, it's no secret that drummer Andy Hurley dabbles in a heavier music scene than most and he's been pals with this Milwaukee metalcore band for a long time, so the friendship led to this great crossover.
Hey, guess what? More metal! LIGHTS donated her delicate electro-tinged voice to British metal band Bring Me The Horizon's epic 2010 LP, There Is A Hell Believe Me, I've Seen It. There Is A Heaven, Let's Keep It A Secret. This appearance is more well-known throughout the scene, but it's no less a pretty cool pairing. Hearing her glitchy vocals on the chaotic "Crucify Me" is a welcome contrast to Oliver Sykes' deep growl. She does double duty on the album, also supplying the emotional bridge to the band's power ballad "Don't Go."
Two of my favorites are from the leaders of two of my favorite bands, The Hold Steady and Brand New. Craig Finn is one of my favorite lyricists of all time and his voice isn't for everyone. But it's used perfectly on the haunting "Safety in Speed (Heavy Metal)," a deep cut from P.O.S' breakthrough 2006 album, Audition. Jesse Lacey and Kevin Devine are staples of the Long Island scene and Jesse adds some subtle backing vocals on "Cotton Crush" (from the 2005 album Split The Country, Split The Street) before it explodes into its full-on guitar attack.
And finally it wouldn't be a Drew Beringer post if I didn't mention my favorite twin sister duo, Tegan and Sara. Tegan gets into some call-and-return vocals with Against Me! front woman Laura Jane Grace on "Borne on the FM Waves of the Heart" (from the band's 2007 LP, New Wave), while Sara gets into the groove with Theophilus London on his sultry 2011 single, "Why Even Try" (which was good enough to appear on both his EP and full-length album).
So there you have it, some of my favorite "surprise" cameos. It shows that our favorite musicians aren't afraid to step outside their comfort zone and instead blend two genres together. Share some of your favorite guest appearances in the replies and don't forget to follow me on Twitter.