Karen O is a busy woman. It’s time-consuming enough being the singer of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, but she is also responsible for the accompanying soundtrack to “Where the Wild Things Are,” the highly-anticipated Spike Jonze adaptation of the classic book. So when Wayne Coyne and Steven Drozd of the Flaming Lips gave her a shout for some vocal contributions to their just-released new album Embryonic, she was relieved to hear that all she had to do was sing into a receiver.
“I got an e-mail from Wayne and Steven saying, ‘Hey, do you want to be on this record?’” she told MTV News on the red carpet before last night’s New York premiere of “Where the Wild Things Are.” “‘And by the way, all you have to do is get on the phone and do it.’ And I was like, ‘On the phone, that sounds great, because that’s the ideal way to make any recording.’ They made it into something because they are geniuses and can make anything work.” Karen ended up contributing to two tracks on Embryonic. She makes animal noises on the sweet “I Can be a Frog” and is credited with “clicking gunshot sounds” on the jittery “Gemini Syringes.”
The soundtrack to “Where the Wild Things Are” is a spacey, moody piece that blends seamlessly with the hazy magic of the film. Though she had never provided music for a film before, she told MTV News that Jonze was an ideal collaborator. “We’re both like kids trapped in adult bodies,” she said. “It was really playful. He just told me what the themes should sound like, and he let me do what I felt like doing.”