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Todd Rundgren Teams Up With Trent Reznor + Atticus Ross for New Song ‘Deaf Ears’

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The partnership of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross has given us plenty of interesting music in recent years, whether it be their critically hailed film scores or working on Nine Inch Nails and How to Destroy Angels. Now the pair are letting someone else in on the fun, with legendary Nazz and Utopia rocker Todd Rundgren snagging them for a guest turn on his new album.

The song “Deaf Ears” appears on Rundgen’s White Knight album, and the Reznor and Ross touches can both be felt in the song itself. It starts off with a rather sparse arrangement utilizing keys and eventually employing bass and percussion. Meanwhile, the video for the track (seen above) features a number of eye-catching beauty in the environment that eventually gives way to cloudy skies, traffic and smoke stacks as Rundgren sings about it “raining ashes.”

Rundgren told NPR, who premiered the video, of the environmental themes, “It’s a depressing time, so sometimes depressing times call for confrontational material. Facing up to reality is a pain. And it does have a contemporary element, especially as the EPA has been taken over by disbelievers. The principal theme for me of ‘Deaf Ears’ is, of course, the destruction we’re doing to our own habitat.”

He went on to speak about working with Reznor and Ross, adding, “I’ve done a little bit of work with Trent Reznor before, so when I decided that I was going to do a collaborative record, he was high on my list of people to get involved. And he was terrific. He sent me essentially an entire album’s worth of ideas. I couldn’t decide at first, so I picked out two tunes, and he sent me all the multitracks to those. So I added vocals and a couple of other little flourishes, but otherwise, it was mostly what Trent and his partner Atticus Ross sent me.”

Rundgren’s White Knight album, which also includes guest turns from Daryl Hall, Joe Walsh, Donald Fagen and more, will arrive on May 12 via Cleopatra Records. It’s currently available to pre-order via Amazon and iTunes.

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