Thu 6 Aug 2009
The fourth Stroke to go it alone
Introducing the world to his solo debut via a strange theatrical trailer, The Strokes’ singer/songwriter Julian Casablancas is finally showing the world what he’s been up to all this time (apart from those collabs with the hilarious Lonely Island guys and his cameo with Sparklehorse earlier in the year, download below). We’ve speculated often, and missed his adorable sleepy drawl.
While The Strokes’ albums have admittedly gotten worse over time – less sharp, exciting and raw, more ponderous and thickly produced – I’ll always have a place in my heart for the New York City boys who brightened up my later teen-aged years.
Since the band’s last album there’s been drummer Fabrizio Morretti’s sun-soaked reggae-lite rock and roll with his West Coast buddies in Little Joy, bassist Nicolai Fraiture’s project Nickel Eye and of course guitarist Albert Hammond Jr.’s two solo albums, so with Casablancas now in the mix that just leaves other guitarist Nick. We know he’s been caught cavorting with models in his time, but when it comes to solo musical excursions he leaves a giant hole. Here’s hoping for something from him soon!
The promotional trailer for Casablancas’ album, Phrazes for the Young, shows he’s gone in a more abstract electronic style, resembling a strange R&B/Ratatat hybrid and reminding of the guitar/drum machine battle duo so strongly that both his synth sounds and album font are reminiscent of them! Amidst a curious collage of environmental footage showing a neat sci-fi trek into globalisation, Casablanca’s music is definitely more spacious and sombre compared to his immediate rock and roll of his band. It’s definitely an intriguing hint at what’s to come.
Phrazes for the Young will be released later this year on Cult Records/RCA, followed by a US tour. And for those fretting over The Strokes’ future, you needn’t worry. Rolling Stone recently reported on their studio time indulging in some purportedly ’70s style jams!