A matter of mere weeks after Justin Timberlake was reportedly banging on about his enviably simpatico relationship with longtime producer Timbaland, it seems he's found himself a brand new recording buddy.
JT and Marcus Mumford, of soporific pop-folk outfit Mumford and Sons were brought together by visionary filmmakers / musical matchmakers the Coen brothers for the soundtrack of their latest film Inside Llewyn Davis. It's not an obvious collaboration for the man who officially brought 'sexy' back at the Grammys this month, but he seems happy about it, so who are we to argue?
Timberlake told Capital FM: "I don't know any other world where we would have the opportunity to collaborate like that but it was so much fun."
Those with short memories should note Timberford-Mumberlake is far from the most unexpected of genre-deaf partnerships. Here's three more from the archives:
1. Melanie C and Lisa 'Left-Eye' Lopes - "Never Be The Same Again"
In her post-Spice solo career, Sporty was no coward when it came to mad musical match ups, but while "When You're Gone" with Bryan Adams was at least catchy, this one was plain weird. The fact that TLC's resident hellraiser Left Eye tragically died in a car accident less than two years later, aged 30, makes the record's prominent position in her discography even more incongruous
2. Linkin Park and Jay Z - "Numb/Encore"
By the general consensus of 2004 Jay Z was cool and Linkin Park definitely wasn't, which made their collaboration all the more baffling. Could it possibly have been determined by business interests, rather than artistic ones?
3. Bing Cosby & David Bowie - "Peace on Earth/ Little Drummer Boy"
By comparison with the long (and still going) career of surprises that followed for Bowie this 1977 collaboration with by-then aging crooner Bing Crosby may pale into insignificance - but the sight of edgy Bowie and mainstream Bing standing side-by-side still jars slightly. Bowie later said of his reasons: "I just knew my mother liked him."