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Saturday, February 22, 2020

The Strokes return, plus The New Regime, Hinds, more from Surge and introducing Tommy Down


The Strokes: Bad Decisions


Photo: Jason McDonald
Some 20 years after they began playing in New York clubs, and seven years since their last studio album, singer Julian Casablancas, guitarists Nick Valensi and Albert Hammond Jr., bassist Nikolai Fraiture and drummer Fabrizio Moretti are back in business as The Strokes. This single from the forthcoming The New Abnormal recycles the hook from Billy Idol's "Dancing with Myself" into what Consequence of Sound calls "the band's catchiest song since [its debut LP] Is This It."


The New Regime: Heart, Mind, Body & Soul


Ilan Rubin keeps himself busy. The drummer for Nine Inch Nails for more than a decade, as well as a member of Angels & Airwaves, Rubin also records as The New Regime, and is in the midst of releasing his third album. That is, he released Heart in September, Mind in November and Body in January. Soul is due out in the next few weeks, and we're now featuring the high-energy title track of the entire project. (What is an "album" these days, anyway?) The New Regime is about to start a string of U.S. tour dates opening for Silversun Pickups.

Hinds: Good Bad Times


Formed in Madrid in 2011, this quartet achieved success with its debut album in 2016 and is now preparing its third full-length release, The Prettiest Curse. Initially known for low-fi garage-rock, the band moves more toward polished indie-pop with this song. Singer and guitarist Carlotta Cosials said the lyric describes "the struggle of communication, time difference, distance" when a couple must spend time apart. "You're turning good times into bad times / Now that you're no longer sleeping with me."

Surge: Time And Again


Last month we featured "Smash the Clocks" from this U.K. indie-pop band's debut EP, Colours. We soon gave "Time and Again" a try on The Detour (our nightly free-form show that you really need to check out), and its infectious, upbeat sound stuck in our ears, so we've moved it into the New Music bin. Among the influences the band cites are Arctic Monkeys, Arcade Fire, Oasis and, incidentally, The Strokes.

Tommy Down: Don't Think I'm Leaving Without You


This new single introduces us to a new voice in the soul tradition. At age 20, Down was singing jazz standards across Europe as a vocalist with the Bristol University Jazz Orchestra, and shortly after, formed Harker Moon, a London-based rock-funk band. Now breaking out as a solo artist, he slides into the retro-soul space occupied these days by the likes of Leon Bridges. Asked in a Fame Magazine interview to name his musical icons, he said, "I’ve always loved Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and The Beatles, to name a few. Quincy Jones’ musical career has inspired me too."

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