If you’ve listened to ‘Desert Sessions, Vol. 11/12’ – the latest record from Josh Homme‘s “bizarro supergroup” – you might have noticed a particularly unusual voice singing on ‘Chic Tweetz’, the sixth track on the album. Alongside British comedy actor and musician Matt Berry, the track credits a certain ‘Töôrnst Hülpft’ on vocals – and fans have been busy posting their theories as to who the mystery singer could be.
In NME‘s Big Read interview with Josh Homme, the Queens Of The Stone Age frontman claimed he has no idea about the real identity of Hülpft. “Matt [Berry] was in town so I said, ‘Let’s not go out – let’s just hang out at Pink Duck and we can order dinner in. Dinner and a movie for me and brother Berry. I asked Stella to come by, too, and I thought Matt knew that guy Töôrnst.
“I thought he was with Matt, but, honestly, I think that’s not correct because then Matt started asking me about him and I was like, ‘What! I thought he was with you?’ He was just this weird guy who turned up at the same time as the others. Nobody comes here unless they know, so it seems inconceivable that it was just random.” Listen to the song below.
The lyrics to ‘Chic Tweetz’ are certainly unusual, delivered in a European accent that could be anything from Austrian to Finnish: “I sent you: chic tweets! / Unanswered for weeks, I want take peeks in those cheeks / I sent you this: hot fax! And you gave me de axe / I said I would wax all your cracks”
If it seems utterly ludicrous, Homme claims the enigmatic contributor was entirely straight-faced about the song. “The whole song was so childish but Töôrnst was so serious!” laughs Josh. “I just sort of went with it. I should probably call Matt and find out who he is.”
Hülpft even appears to have his own Twitter account – unverified, of course.
I super up’d dem Desert Sessions Vol. 11 & 12 cause der was some shet on der… celebrational!
— Töôrnst Hülpft (@toornsthulpft) September 22, 2019
Needless to say, reddit posters and YouTube commenters across the world are not having any of it. Here are a few of the main suspects rounded up so far.
Could it be Homme himself? This seems to be the most popular theory, with one reddit discussion even going as far as pitching down the vocals to prove it. “It’s Josh, if you listen beginning of the song when Toornst says “YAH” it’s is almost exact copy of THIS” claims no less an authority than ‘ShrektVonDinky’ on another reddit debate.
It seems for the majority of fans, Homme is the safe bet.
I now must know who Töôrnst Hülpft is on the new Desert Sessions.
It's Josh isn't it?
— Bashmore (@bashmore) October 29, 2019
Or is it?
“Based on this article there’s no doubt in my mind that Toornst Hulpft is a stand in for Dave Grohl,” says ‘HooHooRobin’ over in another corner of reddit. What makes him so sure? The article in question is this Consequence of Sound piece, and the apparent certainty stems from a couple of quotes in the feature.
“‘Josh Homme is up to something, and it apparently involves Dave Grohl and ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons.’ Billy Gibbons explicitly said in the press that he was recording with Dave and Josh and claimed it was a QOTSA record coming out around Halloween. We now know that’s Desert Sessions.”
The other quote in question: “Homme hinted at such a project just last month, and over the weekend, while appearing on Homme’s The Alligator Hour radio show, Grohl joked with Homme about having ‘always want[ed] to’ participate in a ‘Desert Sessions’ record. ‘I just don’t want you to,’ Homme quipped in response.”
“Dave Grohl is on this album,” HooHooRobin concludes, and who are we to argue?
A handful of people, in fact, wish to argue that it’s actually Nine Inch Nails singer Trent Reznor.
“Oh my god, I figured out who Töôrnst Hülpft is…” reddit user ‘fightclub98’ begins. “Trent Reznor!!!! Remember the post about the horse a while back!!! Holy Fucking Shit!!!”
In case “the post about the horse a while back” isn’t elucidatory enough for you, here it is in full:
View this post on Instagram
The split second before they asked each other “why the long face?” At the exact, Same, Time. Only then did the new friends realize, they owed each other a coke. You know, this is one of those moments that really makes you stop & think: I wonder if anyone’s been recording in the desert? I dunno. I just, Don’t, Know. #newfriends #desert #longface #tinyhorsebirdbuddies #sessions #fastfriends #11 #saddleup #longtimeago #& #oppositesattract #strangesupplier #12 #movetogether #horsinaround #qotsa #queensofthestoneage #tightwads&nitwits&critics&heels #mansionsofmirror #answerthephone #crucifire #horseplay #birdbrain #makesyouwonder #stonersheaverocks
So that clears that up. Wait, you still don’t get it? Ugh, fine.
One of the original tags on this Instagram post was Trent Reznor – before it was swiftly removed. Reznor wasn’t credited as appearing on the ‘Desert Sessions’ – ergo some fans think he did contribute to the record (as Töôrnst Hülpft), but the tag was taken out because everyone would realise he must be Hülpft. “It’s gotta be Trent,” adds ‘jacobn28’.
And the primary vocals are by a made-up character called Töôrnst Hülpft – fans have speculated it's either Josh Homme or Trent Reznor among others, but no one is sure.https://t.co/stSAcqRzmI
— ?️?ＳＰＡＣＥＤＡＤＥＣＡＰＳ ?️? (@SuperSpacedad) October 30, 2019
So there you have it. Three strong possibilities regarding a voice very much belonging to one person, each believed by several conspiracy theorists absolutely convinced that theirs is the correct one. What a beautiful analogy for the internet at large. Any more for any more?
Pretty sure Töôrnst Hülpft is Taika Waititi. #DesertSessions
— Adam Condra (@Condrarian) October 25, 2019