Top Ten Artist Collaborations

By | March 11, 2014 at 4:13 PM

There’s something magical about a good artist collaboration. Not only is it an opportunity to bring voices to new audiences (and vice versa), but the creative energy that comes with outside contributions adds a new dimension to the songs and new senses of possibility when it comes to what the bands are capable of – plus, they’re just a lot of fun. In this week’s Tuesday Ten, we highlight some of our very favorite artist collaborations from over the years, featuring everyone from Fall Out Boy to La Dispute.

A Day To Remember feat. Sierra Kusterbeck – If It Means A Lot To You

This classic pop-mosh power-ballad featuring Sierra Kusterbeck of VERSA (formerly VersaEmerge) closes out A Day To Remember’s 2009 staple Homesick. One of the most heartfelt and well-loved songs in their discography, this track is a crucial part of their live set. Kusterbeck and ADTR frontman Jeremy McKinnon lyrically fight their feelings for each other while constantly giving into their need for one another. Transitioning from a “lighters up” acoustic anthem into an epic singalong, this song is a fan favorite for all the right reasons. (Alex Rudisill)

All Time Low feat. Juliet Simms – Remembering Sunday

This just had to make the list, didn’t it? A guaranteed crowd singalong at ATL shows, “Remembering Sunday” has everything you could ever ask for in a pop punk ballad. This song shows All Time Low in a different light, proving that they’re not just the class clowns. So dim the lights and sing your heart out to the powerful lyrics and singer/songwriter Juliet Simms’ beautifully haunting guest vocals that will make you feel every emotion poured into this song with piercing clarity. “Remembering Sunday” manages to put heartache into words perfectly through its charming acoustic soundtrack and a soaring duet to make it completely unforgettable. (Alex Bear)

Blink-182 feat. Robert Smith – All Of This

Though they were first known for their early pop punk roots and immature songs about being “young and stupid,” Blink-182 turned tables with their self-titled release in 2003. The moody masterpiece was a far cry from the band’s previous style, but remains some of Blink’s most important music. From the self-titled record comes “All of This,” featuring The Cure’s Robert Smith. The vocal styles are diverse and distinct on this track – Smith adding a grim and brooding verse, while DeLonge contrasts with his higher pitched melodic chorus. The song features heavy lyrics like Smith’s agonizing line “Another night with her, but I’m always wanting you,” weighed down even further by his deep, resonant voice. DeLonge and Smith are almost haunting on this track, but it’s that combination of talent that keeps you coming back for more. (Hannah Pierangelo)

Fall Out Boy feat. Elton John – Save Rock and Roll

When Fall Out Boy returned to the scene last year, they made the confident announcement that they were here to “Save Rock and Roll.” And while it’s debatable whether they achieved that goal, they did make a serious statement with the impressive record and its equally impressive list of featured artists. The title track features none other than pop-rock superstar, Sir Elton John. Yeah, that’s right – ELTON JOHN. It may seem like a weird pairing initially, but the dramatics of both artists combine to create a beautifully climactic ending to the album. The vocals are really the highlight of the song as both Elton John and Patrick Stump’s voices seem to be made for such a collaboration. The overall success of the track will undoubtedly inspire other artists to be more adventurous in who they collaborate with. (Alyssa Dempsey)

Lydia feat. Aaron Marsh – Hospital

Although this tune just barely qualifies as a collaboration, the brief vocal contributions from Copeland’s Aaron Marsh cannot be overlooked. In fact, Marsh’s interjection holds just enough weight to introduce new cathartic feelings to the song while reinforcing the inflictions already addressed by frontman Leighton Antelman. As “Hospital” begins, we hear nothing but a droning pad as Leighton distantly croons, “So I’ve been sleeping with the silence in my mind / And all I see scares me.” With this line, Leighton does a phenomenal job setting us up for feelings of doubt and despair for a love that has been wounded. In the second verse, Aaron Marsh introduces a new line of thought: “Now look, you’ve made a fool out of love / When all we want is to be enough / When all we want is to feel enough.” The angelic nature of Marsh’s vocal presence sheds a light of hope and innocence, yet is laced with pure longing, despair, and regret. Marsh acts as almost the bystander or inner conscience that drives Leighton’s feelings of hopelessness – and it works flawlessly. (Ethan Rose)

Set Your Goals feat. Hayley Williams – The Few That Remain

There’s nothing wrong with a good pop punk breakdown, and Set Your Goals know it. Their expertly-executed hardcore edge sets them far apart from the crowd, and by adding Paramore’s Hayley Williams into the mix on “The Few That Remain,” let’s face it – they couldn’t lose. Her unique and irresistible voice immediately commands the attention of the song, layered perfectly over melodic gang vocals that will ensure this is an anthem you will be singing for days. “The Few That Remain” could easily stand on its own with its powerful riffs and catchy choruses, but Williams just adds that undeniable spark that has catapulted this song into the big leagues. (Alex Bear)

Silverstein feat. Ryan Key – Stay Posi





What do you get when you bring pop punk to a post hardcore band known for their fast-paced drumming, creative guitar work, and heartfelt vocals? The answer is “Stay Posi,” Silverstein’s contribution to the Take Action! Vol. 10 compilation featuring Ryan Key of Yellowcard. While it may seem like an unlikely combination to some, together they create an invigorating track that has us singing “whoa, whoa, whoa” right along with them. Key’s upbeat singing complements lead singer Shane Told’s own vocals for a collaboration that brings a new twist to Silverstein’s discography, leaving us with the verdict that the band should team up with pop punk singers more often. Admit it – you don’t listen to collaborations to hear the band’s same trademark style, but to discover that they expand their musical horizons by reaching out to other artists, and this song does that perfectly. (Emily Yee)

Touche Amore/La Dispute – Searching For A Pulse/The Worth Of The World

With their 2010 split EP Searching For A Pulse/The Worth Of The World, Touche Amore and La Dispute take collaboration to a new level. While the rest of this list features one-off collabs, the EP sees each band make invaluable contributions to the other’s songs on all four tracks, with Touche’s Jeremy Bolm and La Dispute’s Jordan Dreyer lending their unmistakeable voices to one another’s songs in appearances that range from background vocals to intense back-and-forth exchanges. Featuring what is arguably some of the best work from both bands, the EP offers something truly special that elevates the bands’ relationship with one another from simple friendship to electrifying artistry. (Eleanor Grace)

The Wonder Years feat. Matty Arsenault, Dave Mackinder, Shane Henderson, Jamie Rhoden, and Nik Bruzzese – All My Friends Are In Bar Bands

Back in 2010, a modest band from Lansdale, Pennsylvania released an album titled The Upsides that forever changed the course of modern pop punk. The Wonder Years’ brand of aggressive and unflinchingly honest music spawned a whole movement of bands collectively grouped under the “Defend Pop Punk” banner, whether willingly or unwillingly. At the end of the record is a little track called “All My Friends Are In Bar Bands.” After what feels like a hyper-personal diary entry from Soupy, the classic Wonder Years refrain “I’m not sad anymore, I’m just tired of this place” is repeated by some of the best up-and-coming pop punk vocalists at the time: Matty Arsenault of A Loss For Words, Dave Mackinder of Fireworks, Shane Henderson of Valencia, Jamie Rhoden of Title Fight, and Nik Bruzzese of Man Overboard. This latter half of the song is an amazing medley that displays the talent and camaraderie of all these bands, proving dead wrong the misconception that all pop punk vocalists sound the same. Listening to this song four years later, it’s incredible to see the growth that all these featured artists have experienced in their career. It’s safe to say that all of Soupy’s friends are no longer just in bar bands. (Catherine Yi)

Yellowcard feat. Alex Gaskarth, Tay Jardine, and Cassadee Pope – Telescope

As much as we all wish every song could boast vocal credits from Ryan Key, Alex Gaskarth, Tay Jardine, and Cassadee Pope, there’s only one that is truly capable of containing such intense awesomeness. “Telescope”, from Yellowcard’s latest full-length Southern Air, is that song. Plenty strong enough to hold every one of those epic talents, it’s more than a few notes and some lyrics – it’s a journey that demands to be heard. Guest spots only come in the form of hints, but they take the mid-tempo track to astonishing heights. All in all, “Telescope” is an impeccable song that won’t be forgotten, and Gaskarth, Jardine and Pope serve to drive home the fact. (Emillie Marvel)

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