Jack Antonoff’s impressive Rolodex is far from secret. The Bleachers musician and super-producer has worked for some of the biggest names in pop music, from Taylor Swift to Lorde to Lana Del Rey. He got Bruce Springsteen himself to sing on the song “chinatown,” the first single off Bleachers’ upcoming third album, Take the Sadness Out of Saturday Night, out July 30. But the big names don’t stop there: Elsewhere on that album, Zadie Smith, the acclaimed writer of fiction and essays, has a songwriting credit. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Antonoff called opening track “91” “my favorite piece of writing on the record,” adding that “Zadie Smith, who I really love, kind of helped me frame it.” He continued that their collaboration was “remarkable, because I’ve never worked with someone who wasn’t in music.” Antonoff added that he more recently saw Smith near the recording studio Electric Lady in New York City and invited her in to hear some of the new album. “There was even a melody thing she had a note on,” he said, “which she was 100 percent right about.” Putting that past cabaret-singing experience to good use, we see.
And as for “91,” in true Antonoff fashion, the musician said the song also features string arrangements by Annie Clark, a.k.a. St. Vincent, and a violin performance by Warren Ellis of Nick Cave’s band the Bad Seeds. Try finding all those names together anywhere other than these album credits.