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Lykke Li explains U2 collaboration

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Lykke Li is the sole guest collaborator on U2’s new album, Songs of Innocence, which was nearly as big of a surprise as the band’s free release of the LP through iTunes. In a new interview with Rolling Stone, the Swedish indie pop star explained how she ended up singing on the closing track, “The Troubles”.

After receiving an invitation from producer Danger Mouse, Li laid down vocals for the track during a session in Los Angeles in 2013. While U2 was not present for the initial recording, they were there when Li hit a European studio this past summer to recut her vocals.

Li told Rolling Stone of the experience:

“Bono was very kind. He was kind of like the quiet leader, instructing me how to sing in tune – which I usually don’t. Mostly, they let me do my own thing, but we tried different things like to whisper it to someone or to scream it to someone, but it was all about creating intimacy. We turned off all the music and sang only to the drums, so it was really getting to what the core of the song meant. I had a wonderful time.”

According to Li, “[Bono] said I blew everyone out of the water.” Bono also told Li that “Never Gonna Love Again” was his favorite track from her new album, I Never Learn.

Despite the positive experience, Li said she was unsure if the track was going to be released right up until Tuesday’s unveiling. She added that she’s most excited to share the song with her dad.

“He won’t believe it. It’s such a trippy thing to have your daughter sing with U2.” The singer says that although she sent the song to him, she hasn’t heard what he thought of it yet because, as she says with a laugh, “he was on a mountaintop somewhere.”

Listen to “The Troubles” below.

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