Posts Tagged ‘Julian Casablancas’

A seven-year reflection period with time for other musical projects has not given The Strokes any wind. In early April, the New York-based cult band released their new record. Each new album was invariably compared to their iconic debut album Is This It and then concluded ‘that it wasn’t like it was in their early days’. But let’s leave that out for a second at The New Abnormal. On the record, fresh synths are regularly given way and we hear Julian Casablancas sing like never before. “Brooklyn Bridge To Chorus” and opener “The Adults Are Talking” embody the new path the band is taking. Fortunately, the rattling guitars are not completely discarded and sound a lot more inspired than on their previous musical throws. Renewing without denying their roots, The Strokes did quite well on The New Abnormal.

The Strokes playing a slow-motion, dramatically heated game of baseball against a team of Terminator-like robots — possibly for the fate of the free world, possibly just as a Beer League scrimmage? Sure, why not: Like every other successful move The Strokes have made in their middle age as a band, the “Adults Are Talking” video follows its own logic and just goes for it, making sense sheerly through the group’s singular brand of try-not-that-hard self-confidence. Patterning their uniforms after the Houston Astros instead of their (maybe?) beloved Mets is one decision they’re gonna have to answer for back home, though.

The Strokes ‘The New Abnormal’ Available Now

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Anything and everything can happen in a Voidz song. Acoustic blues, heavy metal, deep prog, funk, pop, the 8-bit Freon-chill a bank of synthesizers creates — sometimes individually, sometimes en masse. This three-guitar sextet firmed and led by Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas pursue this alchemy with true heart and enthusiasm, a go-for-broke gusto that makes 2014’s Tyranny, 2018’s Virtue, and a handful of 2019 one-off cuts a stoner’s sonic amusement park. Here, Casablancas has free rein to indulge his whims beyond the sleek, robotic rock-populism the Strokes are constitutionally mandated to champion. His accompanying sentiments — a mélange of Trustafarian contrarianism, personal philosophy, and passive-aggressive winks allegedly targeting different Strokes — complement a musical aesthetic inclined to melodic overload. This excess sidles to tender, epic life on the 11-minute “Human Sadness” and informs “Wink,” a roiling, cutting synth-pop bop that threatens to transform into reggae or an alternate 90210 theme. Theirs are consummate “older brother” records, arriving a couple of decades too late.

The syncopated, Pacific Coast haze of 2018’s “Permanent High School,” complete with plastic falsetto.

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It’s 2020 and The Strokes are good again. Even Howard Ratner wouldn’t have taken that bet.

People asked for a new The Strokes record – and get a retro overdose. For the video of “Fast Times” guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. unpacks the old VHS recorder, lets some choppers roar over the Sunset Boulevard of Los Angeles and gambles all his money at the Pacman machine in the disco. The guitars don’t care. They sound like they did at the awesome festival gig of 2005 anyway. If there’s anything from The Strokes next year, we’ve warned you.

The ’80s bands, where did they go?” frontman Julian Casablancas ponders in “Brooklyn Bridge to Chorus,” a retro-tinged (and arguably at least slightly sarcastic) yearning for the good old days that spans throughout The Strokes’ first album in seven years. With a title like The New Abnormal feeling more relevant than usual given the global pandemic, nostalgia for a simpler time is higher than ever — and almost 20 years since their debut album, which arrived in the United States just weeks after 9/11, the NYC band’s signature melodies always strike the right chord, while Casablancas’ breezy falsetto still proves to be a much-needed exhale amid dark times

The Strokes ‘The New Abnormal’ Available 4.10.20

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The Strokes  will release their first new album in seven years on April 10th, “The New Abnormal” (Cult/RCA), and the latest preview of the record arrived this week in the form of the track “Bad Decisions,” a slick rocker built around an anthemic, New Order-esque guitar riff. The retro infomercial-style “Bad Decisions” video, directed by Andrew Donoho, sends The Strokes back to the ‘70s scene Julian Casablancas’ lyrics set (“Dropped down the lights, I’m sitting with you / Moscow 1972”), imagining a world in which anyone can order their own cloned iteration of the band, customizing The Strokes’ looks and personalities to fit their exact specifications.

The New Abnormal is the long awaited new album from The Strokes, and the band’s first album in seven years. The New Abnormal is The Strokes’ sixth studio album and was recorded at Shangri-La Studios in Malibu, California, with producer Rick Rubin.

The album’s cover artwork is a painting called ‘Bird on Money,’ by famed artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. The Strokes are singer Julian Casablancas, guitarists Nick Valensi and Albert Hammond Jr, bassist Nikolai Fraiture and drummer Fabrizio Moretti.

Julian Casablancas was partly inspired to write his new Voidz single, “Did My Best,” by Algerian street vendors in Paris — specifically the Auto-Tuned Arabic music they listened to while “selling tourist crap. That seeped into my subconscious,” .

When he acquired an Auto-Tune pedal, his imagination took off. “In Indian music and Middle Eastern music, they use more notes [than in Western music],” he says. “But the truth is, those notes are secretly in Western music. … When you do a melody with Auto-Tune, it’s almost a different melody. Ten percent of the melodies jump off to a new level with Auto-Tune. It’s a whole other level of harmony.”

Auto-Tune colors the end of the song, where Casablancas repeats the phrase, “I can only change what I can change,” and features heavily on “The Eternal Tao,” released in May of this year. That song and “Did My Best” appear in a new video from the Voidz , which features the band having a party with a bunch of sex dolls. Mac DeMarco and Kirin J Callinan also appear in the video; DeMarco engineered both songs, while Callinan “dream weaved,” Casablancas says.

“I started the way I start most things, with a vague, blurry end vision in mind,” he says of the video. “It’s like one of those videos people make at parties. It’s like, ‘What is this world? Who are these people?’ It was [a] simple, dumb idea that could have been 10 seconds long, but I decided to [do that and add] robots.” The video was directed by Johann Rashid (Promiseland), with animation by Benjamin Portas.

Despite the Auto-Tune, “Did My Best” sounds more like a traditional Casablancas track and is, in part, about the singer’s disdain for nostalgia. “Some people might hear the political stuff, some people might hear the ‘hanging out in a bar’ stuff, some people might hear the philosophical stuff,” he says. “That song is about nostalgia and not giving a shit about it personally, but that’s only one of many topics in the song.”

“Eternal Tao” was inspired by Tao Te Ching — and it’s much more out-there than “Did My Best.” “That book is insane,” Casablancas says. “It seems like the ancient wisdoms of the old world, the top minds, got together and wrote this universal truths thing. It has so much in it and it’s so amazing. That took over my life for a second.”

With his trusty pedal in tow, the singer says he has more than 50 songs in the can. He’s not sure how the band will release them, but says they’ll likely come out as singles. “I think we’re just going to put out songs here and there. Does it matter, this day and age?” he says.

As for the Strokes, he says the band is similarly in limbo — and that there’s no plans for new music. “If you ask me in a week, the answer might be different. Right now not, but it could change at any moment,” he says. The Strokes are currently set to play a slew of dates, including a New Year’s show in New York, 2020’s Shaky Knees Festival, and several iterations of Lollapalooza overseas. Their last album was 2013’s Comedown Machine, while Voidz dropped their more recent album, Virtue, in 2018. Casablancas’ Strokes bandmates Albert Hammond Jr. and Fabrizio Moretti also recently put out new music; Hammond Jr.’s Francis Trouble dropped in 2018 and Moretti’s Conduit came out this week under the name Machinegum.

The duo shared a hazy video for their version of Sort Sol and Lydia Lunch’s track ‘Boy/Girl’.

An absurdist video for their cover of Sort Sol and Lydia Lunch’s 1984 single “Boy/Girl,” which sublimates the dizziness of the original into a blitzing buzz that’s uniquely theirs. the duet between Julian Casablancas and Savages singer Jehnny Beth has seemed since its announcement to be a match in leather-clad heaven, and the resulting cover of a haywire Danish punk classic fulfills on the collaboration’s promise.

Watch the video here in advance of the single’s December 18th release on Casablancas’ Cult Records.