Late-Night TV Music (Helping Hands Edition) | May 18, 2021

From backup singers to orchestras, today's artists just can't do it alone.

Everybody needs a little help now and then — including the latest members of the Late-Night TV Music club. But naturally, everybody’s idea of help is a little different:

• Some just require a few extra bodies to get the job done — like U.K. indie-rock duo Typhoons, who drafted in a keyboard player and some backup singers / clappers to bolster their meagre ranks for their performance of the dance-rock number Typhoons on Jimmy Kimmel Live. (I don’t pay enough attention to Royal Blood to know if they’ve done this before, but based on predecessors like The Black Keys, I assume that soon they’ll be touring an entire band of side players, which sort of defeats the whole point of being a duo, doesn’t it?)

• Others try to bolster their credibility with celebrity cameos — like Willow, who roped in ubiquitous drummer Travis Barker to propel her pouty, pop-punky number Transparent Soul (she spells it all lower-case and spaced-out, but I’m not going to do that) on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Does it make her seem like anything other than a self-indulgent, self-entitled rich kid who can spend her daddy’s money to make her pointless fantasies a reality? I think we all know the answer to that.

• And finally, some go all out — like Moby, who enlisted Apollo Jane and the massive Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra, complete with chorus, to expand his classic Natural Blues into a blast of soaring orchestral rock. Did it help you forget about all the stupid stuff Moby has said and done lately? Watch and judge for yourself. But we all know it really doesn’t.