Can't wait for Robyn's new album on October 26? Neither can we. But this list of her greatest collabs might just tide you over
Röyksopp and Robyn – Do It Again
Robyn’s collaborations with the Norwegian dance duo Röyksopp date back a decade; she first linked up with Svein Berge and Torbjørn Brundtland in 2009. It’s easy to hear what a brilliant creative pairing they make on ‘Do It Again’ – a pogoing mini-album epic which sounds roughly like the distilled happy-essence of pingers. The title track in particular is a masterclass in glimmering, euphoric dance music, and let it be known, when Robyn sings “one more time, let’s do it again,” she’s talking about immediately hitting the ‘play on repeat’ button.
Robyn and La Bagatelle Magique – Love Is Free
Translating very, very roughly to Robyn and the Magic Trifle in English, La Bagatelle Magique are responsible for ‘Love Is Free’, alongside a whole mini-album of wonkily glimmering dance music,. Featuring the Diplo-approved hip-hop experimenter Maluca, and elsewhere, a cover of Arthur Russell’s ‘Tell You (Today)’, Robyn also collaborated with the late Christian Falk on the project. The pair had been collaborating for decades (Falks worked on Robyn’s debut album’s title track ‘Robyn Is Here’) and had been planning to make an entire full-length record together. When the producer tragically passed away before their work as La Bagatelle Magique was complete, Robyn and her bandmate Markus Jagerstedt pieced together the fragments and instructions their friend left behind to honour his memory. The result is a release that feels at once euphoric and bittersweet, given the circumstances.
Neneh Cherry and Robyn – Out Of The Black
What do you get when you mix the innovator supreme that is Neneh Cherry with the pop genius of Robyn? Well, on the evidence of ‘Out of the Black’ – the pair’s 2014 collaboration – you get a Swedish force that just cannot be beaten. Oh yes, and as if things couldn’t get any better, Four Tet produces the track.
A deliberate curveball from the two artists, ‘Out of the Black’ is also out of the ordinary; a gloomier proposition than you’d first expect. “The obvious thing would be for Robyn and I to do a jumping-up-and-down-type song or something a bit more cheeky, but it’s quite melancholy,” Neneh Cherry told Pitchfork at the time. “Kieran [Hebden, aka Four Tet] and I had been having this conversation about a song I was having a hard time with, and he was like, “Maybe this is the one you should do together.” So we got together in Stockholm, and we had the most amazing day. Robyn is really something special.
Metronomy and Robyn – Hang Me Out To Dry
While Robyn didn’t team up with Metronomy for an electro-inflected cover of ‘Hang Me Out To Dry’ by noughties indie rockers Cold War Kids (that really would’ve been something), she did link up with Metronomy instead, for a song of the same name. Appearing on Joe Mount’s fifth album ‘Summer ‘08’, the Swedish star steals the show. “Hang me out to dry, take me for a ride, Do whatever you feel like you’re behind the wheel,” she urges in airy tones; injecting a genius quantity of tension into Metronomy’s pogoing disco. As far as self-destructive break-up bangers go, this is textbook greatness.
Mr Tophat and Robyn – Trust Me
Celebrating the house music that both Robyn and Mr Tophat grew up on – the pair of Stockholmers share a love of hypnotic, limb-possessing dance music – ‘Trust Me’ has the sort of dance-banger chops that shame most mediocre imitations into hiding. “The pretty lights/ Yeah, it’s what we like” sings Robyn atop disco-flecked percussion, paying homage to her years spent partying at Body and Soul nights in New York. What a track.
Kleerup and Robyn – With Every Heartbeat
Possibly one of Robyn’s best loved tracks of all time, ‘With Every Heartbeat’ gave record producer and The Meat Boys band member Kleerup his first mainstream production credit. Not a bad place to begin. There’s something so devastatingly simple about that repeated lyric – “and it hurts with every heartbeat” – and alongside Kleerup’s tense cyclical bloops, this is a stand-out track that turns intense pain into bittersweet euphoria.