If the turning of the year from 2019 to 2020 brought anything particularly visceral, it was the reality that it was a full 20 years since our first live encounter with The Strokes. Surely, along with Interpol and Yeah Yeah Yeahs, one of the few last great New York City bands, they are permanently woven into the cultural fabric of our lives.
Which meant the coming of another new single and video could be nothing but a toweringly emotional experience. And Julian, Nick, Nikolai, Albert and Fabrizio have not let us off lightly, as “At the Door” is a poignantly animated clip (directed by Mike Burakoff) that falls somewhere between Yellow Submarine, The Iron Giant, and a particularly fantastical update of magical realism.
And straddling some imaginary aesthetic line between Kid A and Anthony Newley, the boys deliver one of their most touching, thought provoking tracks ever. Indeed, as Mssr. Casablancas croons pensively, “I been on a cold road I’ll be waiting, yeah / I’ll be waiting from the other side / Waiting for the time to pass,” you can’t help but want to reach out a hand and set him back on his path.
It’s taken from their appropriately titled new album The New Abnormal, due out April 10. It will surely be the longest wait of 2020.