Julian Casablancas released his first solo album Phrazes for the Young in 2009, an album he said he wanted to go “weirder” with but ultimately didn’t. “I didn’t want people to say, ‘Okay, this is his weird abstract thing,’ and dismiss the album,” Casablancas told Spin. But “Human Sadness,” his just-released song with backing band The Voidz, proves that he’s not so scared of going into abstract territory anymore.
At 11 minutes long, “Human Sadness” at first sounds reminiscent of The Strokes until it becomes apparent that Casablancas isn’t going for the short ditties his band is known for, but rather an experimental, sprawling track featuring his signature falsetto. Casablancas’ vocals don’t rise above the instrumentals until mid-song, when the sound transitions from lo-fi atmospheric to chaotic rock complete with a guitar solo and Casablancas’ howls.
Along with the “Human Sadness” premiere, Casablancas and The Voidz also announced tour dates beginning with a Sept. 19 performance at Mexico’s Hellow Festival. Their album Tyranny drops Sept. 23.