Leah Greenblatt
June 10, 2009 AT 12:00 PM EDT

Bewitching alt-folk outfit Thao and the Get Down Stay Down released one of the most slept-on little gems of last year on Kill Rock Stars, We Brave Bee Stings And All; if you missed it, buy it now — or commit a little less and just begin by streaming the excellent “Bag of Hammers” here.

Today, Thao Nguyen’s collaboration with Justin Power and the Portland Cello Project (an ace group of rotating cellists who take on everything from Britney’s “Toxic” to the Dandy Warhols and post-modern Estonian composer Arvo Part in their one-off performances) hits stores; and lo, we have a song for you!

Stream below, while Thao herself tells us about the track: “I wrote ‘Tallymarks’ years ago,” she says, “and have since revisited it several times with various instrumentation and even more varying results. When the opportunity arose to re-record it with The Portland Cello Project, I took it, of course, because I had great faith they would rejuvenate and reshape it in a way I have craved but have not been capable of, not just because I don’t play cello.

“They give it gravity without sentiment and fullness without artifice. And there are so many of them and their instruments are bigger than mine so I had to let them do whatever they wanted.”

If you get your copy directly from KRS, you get three bonus Justin Timberlake tracks (sample “Cry Me a River,” currently streaming on their MySpace), along with “Tallymarks,” a kicky little cover of Pantera’s “Mouth for War” (you think we’re joking), and some other good stuff. But tell us what you think below — did “Tallymarks” make you get up and/or stay down?

More from EW’s Music Mix:
Jack White reveals plans for solo album; proves existence of own space-time continuum
Adam Lambert is gay!: Surprised?
Watch the new Wilco/Radiohead/Johnny Marr/Neil Finn doc for free
Christina Aguilera adds Le Tigre to list of collaborators for new album: Will her electro album trump Lady Gaga’s?

You May Like