We asked the supports at this year’s The Strokes Hyde Park show to pick their favourite track from the NY band’s massive back catalogue.
British singer-songwriter and Hyde Park opener Kieran Leonard chooses the first The Strokes single, Hard To Explain. It got a UK release in 2001, and was released in the US the next year with different artwork. Given Leonard’s fondness for poetic lyricism it’s no surprise he chose such a reflective track.
YAK – New York City Cops
Originally released as the b-side to Hard To Explain, New York City Cops was taken off the US version of Is This It after 9/11 and replaced with When It Started. Chosen by newcomers Yak whose psych riffs bear the promise of chaos akin to this track’s opening moments.
GENGAHR – Reptillia
Touted as the new heroes of British indie, it’s only fitting Gengahr have picked this classic from 2003’s Room On Fire, the middle Valensi guitar solo as incendiary as the album’s title. Gengahr’s lead guitarist John Victor has already been praised by NME as a six-string visionary. Find out why at Hyde Park.
HINDS – The Modern Age
This was the title track of The Strokes’ first EP, the one that sparked a bidding war amongst record labels. Picked by Barcelona’s Hinds, a band who are currently having the same impact on labels worldwide. You can draw more parallels in the innocence of the stripped back production and basic composition that still shows mountainous promise.
THE WYTCHES - Meet Me In The Bathroom
A sprawling and pessimistic cut from Room On Fire, chosen by The Wytches, a band that deliver a sonic assault and dark overtones. It was actually picked by drummer Gianni. While the rhythm section on this track is pretty staccato and contained, perhaps it’s Casablancas’ unnerving vocals or the structural unpredictability he digs. Or just the suggestive title.
PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCASTING – Is This It
Meshing together psychedelic synths and post-rock guitars with a driving rhythm section and snippets and samples from bygone public information clips, you can tell that the enigmatic duo of J. Willgoose, Esq. and Wrigglesworth certainly like to approach things with a raised eyebrow. The title track from The Strokes’ seminal debut has that shrugged shoulders misgiving and the kind of dead end conclusion you can imagine PSB smiling at.
FUTURE ISLANDS – When It Started, What Ever Happened?, Taken For a Fool, and Tap Out
Baltimore legends Future Islands couldn’t decide on one song, so they picked four favourites. First up, the aforementioned US replacement for New York City Cops, the nonchalant conscious stream of When It Started.
What Ever Happened? which quite frankly if it’s guitar solo were replaced by a keyboard line, could be a Future Islands song in itself.
Then there’s Taken For A Fool from the under appreciated Angles, in which Valensi’s guitar toys and turns tones.
And finally, Tap Out from 2013’s Comedown Machine with it’s soft falsetto.
It’s kind of fitting that a band with such an expansive and varied career as Future Islands, a band whose sound has grown and developed over several records, chose such a spectrum of favourites.