Best known as the frontwoman for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Karen O began branching out from the group's incendiary rock soon after its debut album, Fever to Tell, was released in 2003.
She loaned her vocals to "Hello Tomorrow," a 2005 collaboration with producer Squeak E. Clean that provided the soundtrack to a Nike shoe commercial directed by Spike Jonze. In 2008, she debuted the side project Native Korean Rock, which featured a softer, folkier sound that recalled her pre-Yeah Yeah Yeahs music. That year, it was announced that O would provide the soundtrack to Jonze's film adaptation of Maurice Sendak's classic children's book Where the Wild Things Are; for the project, she recruited collaborators including composer Carter Burwell, her Yeah Yeah Yeahs bandmates Brian Chase and Nick Zinner, Deerhunter's Bradford Cox, Liars' Aaron Hemphill, and the Raconteurs and Dead Weather's Dean Fertita and Jack Lawrence. The single "All Is Love" appeared in September 2009, with the full soundtrack arriving a couple of weeks ahead of the film's release date. The song was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media. In 2011, she worked on the rock opera Stop the Virgens, which also featured contributions by the Screamers' K.K. Barrett, the Breeders' Kim Deal, O's bandmates Brian Chase and Nick Zinner, and actress Lili Taylor. That year, she also worked with Trent Reznor on a version of Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song" for the soundtrack to David Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. O reunited with Jonze to provide music for 2013's acclaimed Her; "The Moon Song," which she co-wrote with Jonze, earned a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Original Song. In 2014, she appeared on We're All Young Together, the solo debut from the Walkmen's Walter Martin. She released her own solo debut, Crush Songs, a collection of lo-fi sketches she recorded in 2006, that September on Julian Casablancas' Cult Records label. ~ Heather Phares