Favourite songs of 2011: 20-11

Here are my favourite songs of 2011; each baby sprung from the loins of the musician to tickle my ears and awe my brain cells. This year, the only condition made was that only one song from each album would qualify, thus preventing my over-zealous love for The Antlers from overrunning the list. 10 to 1 will be out right after.

Happy new year! Have a great 2012, everyone.

#20: Air Review - America’s Son


#19: Dolorean - Country Clutter


#18: Alex Turner - Piledriver Waltz


#17: Lana Del Rey - Video Games


#16: Okkervil River - The Valley


#15: M83 - Midnight City


#14: Neon Indian - Polish Girl


#13: Jay-Z and Kanye West - Otis


#12: The Strokes - Under Cover of Darkness


#11: Girls - Honey Bunny


(images via Rawk Blog, We All Want Someone To Shout For and Under The Radar)

The Strokes’ long long (very long) anticipated LP #4 Angles sounded ultra promising with first single “Under Cover of Darkness”, which was quite simply a great great (very great) harmony of guitars and magical sounds.

But what followed seemed kinda, well, like they were back to their First Impressions days; not necessarily a bad thing, but definitely not what I’d prefer. It’s probably the same with many of you too.

But they are The Strokes, and so no matter what their songs sound like, you gotta give them each at least one listen, right? Right.

Therefore, stream Angles here and make your own call. Also feel free to discuss the pros and cons of a less-hairy Albert Hammond Jr.. Otherwise, just watch the “Under Cover of Darkness” video above and ponder how all the fellas became at least 4X more attractive since we last saw them, but Jules still looks like he’s stuck in the 11th Dimension.


Tags: The Strokes

"Under Cover of Darkness" by The Strokes

The ‘saviours of rock n’ roll’ are back.

Sure, Albert Hammond Jr. cut the ‘fro and Julian now wears a feathered earring and has afflicted Liam Gallagher’s affinity for sunglasses. But not everything has changed. Nick is still majorly gorgeous and “Under Cover of Darkness” sounds like good ol’ Strokes stuff - guitar melodies to die for layered over even more catchy finger-magic riffs - just as promised by Nikolai:

“Sonically, I feel it’s the album which should have been made between [2003’s] ‘Room On Fire’ and [2006’s] ‘First Impressions Of Earth’,” he said, adding that the album echoes the band’s “classic sound”.

But it isn’t all been-there-done-that for the NYC boys’ latest single, off their eagerly eagerly anticipated LP #4, Angles, due out March 22nd. For starters, vocally, Julian’s gone more “New York City Cops” than his usual lazy baritone and there’s even some harmonizing thrown in for kicks.

With the immense amount of hype surrounding this release, it takes a damn good song to justify the media furore. “Under Cover of Darkness” does just that; it’s golden.

Angles Tracklist:
1. Machu Picchu
2. Under Cover of Darkness
3. Two Kinds of Happiness
4. You’re So Right
5. Taken For A Fool
6. Games
7. Call Me Back
8. Gratisfaction
9. Metabolism
10. Life Is Simple In The Moonlight


(image via Stereogum)

Tags: the strokes

Download The Strokes’ new single “Under Cover of Darkness”.


Tags: the strokes

My 14-year-old self’s love for Julian Casablancas reignited after he serenaded me (and 1,000 other people) at Coachella. And Kittens Lim asked me to write a Julian post. So that calls for a bunch of Strokes/Phrazes for the Young talk.

Back in 2001 when The Strokes went from playing Arlene’s Grocery to having the best album of the year, Julian was the face of the new wave of music, the (gasp!) Kurt Cobain to the new millenium’s NYC Nirvana.

And now - almost ten years, three Strokes albums (with decreasing critical appeal), one solo LP, numerous leather jackets, a marriage and a kid later - Jules is back with the boys for one more romp with Venison The Strokes.

With the long-awaited fourth Strokes LP pushed back for release till March 2011, at least we’ve still got all the side-projects to depend on meanwhile.

Albert Hammond, Jr. dropped two solo LPs, Fabrizio Moretti joined Little Joy with Binki Shapiro, Nikolai Fraiture became Nickel Eye, and of course, Julian and his feathered earring took over the world.

So, to tide us all over till the boys get back in business full time, here’s Julian Casablancas performing bonus track "Old Hollywood" on Viva Radio, accompanied by a very blessed-with-facial-hair friend. I like facial hair.