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By Dounia El Aflahi on 29.10.2023

Side Projects of The Strokes

We haven’t heard from The Strokes for a while now – actually not since the release of their mature, brilliant and sophisticated third album: ‘First Impressions of Earth’ in 2006. Luckily, during this long break, four of them decided to make their own side projects; Julian Casablancas (singer and main composer), Albert Hammond Jr. (guitarist), Nikolai Fraiture (bassist) and Fabrizio Moretti (drummer).

Hammond Jr. released two albums: the sweet and excellent ‘Yours to Keep’ (2006) and the new more ‘Stroke-y’ ‘¿Como Te Llama?’ (2008). Casablancas collaborated with Pharell Williams and Santogold to co-write and perform the catchy ‘My Drive Thru’ – the Converse-sponsored hit. Moretti’s new solo project, Little Joy, will be releasing their album on November 4th, while Nikolai’s experimental debut album, ‘The Time of the Assassins’, with his band Nickel Eye will be out on January 27th 2009.

Even though all of this is really good and different, and wholly deserves to be reviewed, I have to admit that Little Joy is a particularly amazing surprise, all the more so because it is not directly related to The Strokes’ usual sound (well, maybe it’s a bit like ‘Is This It?’ or their song ‘Clear Skies’ but it’s still quite different). Indeed, as Rolling Stone rightly pointed out: “… [it] mixes bossa nova grooves with breezy arrangements and low-fi vocals.” The band itself is composed of Fabrizio Moretti, Rodrigo Amarante (the singer and guitarist of Los Hermanos from Brazil) and the talented Binki Shapiro – who is much more than Fabrizio’s girlfriend (gossip, gossip). The band is, interestingly, named after a bar in L.A where they used to hang out and play music. Little Joy will start touring in the US in November and play in the (now mythical) Mercury Lounge in New York, for those of you who may have the chance to be there on November 13th. On their MySpace page you can listen to three of their songs: ‘No One’s Better Sake’, ‘Brand New Start’ and the simply beautiful ‘With Strangers’. Enough talking though, go and check it out and make your own opinion!

On February 2009, the Strokes will get back together and work on their fourth album, which will hopefully have some of the influences of the members’ side experiences.


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