The 21 Best Songs of #NYFW: Your New Favorite Playlist

For this, we didn’t get half the photos we wanted because our batteries were drained from Shazaming everything good from shows and presentations. It was worth it. From Rihanna to Mø, FKA Twigs to Chris Isaak, Crowe-ther to Sbrtrkt, well you get the idea.

Just for you, with all our love — here is the best sounding 1 hour and 28 minutes of fashion week you’ll hear this season.

10 ‘Indie’ Albums From 10 Years Ago That Are Better Than Interpol’s ‘Turn On The Bright Lights’

Matador on December 4th will release the 10th Anniversary Double LP of Interpol’s Turn On The Bright Lights. (“All pre-orders include exact replica Interpol pin from the era,” too, so act fast!) I don’t know about you guys, but my relationship with this album never went beyond zoning out to “Untitled”—or maybe “NYC,” if I was feeling especially moody. Here’s the stuff that came out in 2002 and was vastly better. Just sayin’.

The Notwist — Neon Golden

Boards Of Canada — Geogaddi

Lambchop — Is A Woman

The Walkmen — Everyone Who Pretended To Like Me Is Gone

Imperial Teen — On

Mclusky — Mclusky Do Dallas

Luna — Romantica

Belle & Sebastian — Storytelling

Sleater-Kinney — One Beat

Broken Social Scene — You Forgot It In People

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BlackBook Tracks #20: The Post-Frankenstorm Solution

Did you miss me last week? (It’s okay if you didn’t, but I kind of hope you did.) I was stranded in the powerless wasteland of lower Manhattan, shoving Pringles in my mouth by candlelight because I couldn’t use the internet. Now that we’ve figured out things like the leadership of our country and the L train, here are some songs for you.

Buke & Gase – “Blue Monday”

Not only is this a solid New Order cover from the Brooklyn duo, but if you buy it on Bandcamp, the proceeds will go to Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.

Interpol – “NYC”

Here’s a belated shout-out to everyone else who was in the blacked-out zone last week. Turn on the bright lights, indeed.

Foals – “Inhaler”

These Brits are back, and they’re sounding even bigger than they did on 2010’s highly acclaimed Total Life Forever. “Inhaler,” the first single from the forthcoming Holy Fire, is a stark, pulsing stomp that can only promise more good things.

Charli XCX – “Heatwave”

Bubblegum-goth darling Charli XCX just dropped her Super Ultra mixtape, featuring this song that you’ll have to save up for next year’s summer fling. For more sexy synths, download the full mixtape here.

Dutch Uncles – “Fester”

These purveyors of oddball piano pop are growing up nicely. The new single from the Manchester, UK band is smooth and sophisticated, hinting at their progression since 2011’s Cadenza.

Sambassadeur – “Memories”

I’m not going to lie, I forgot about this band for a minute, but I’m glad I remembered. This Swedish outfit is still going strong, and “Memories” features the kind of crystalline pop perfection that’s kept them an anchor of Labrador Records.

Peggy Sue – “He’s A Rebel”

Those 60s girl group classics have held up for a reason. This version sees British alt-folk act Peggy Sue paying laid-back tribute to the Crystals.

Ramona Falls – “Proof”

If you’re looking for something delicate and heartfelt but with a faint undercurrent of weirdness, you’ve come to the right place.

Lilly Wood & The Prick – “Where I Want To Be (California)”

These French sensations present a nostalgic, dynamic vision of pop. “Where I Want To Be (California)” is the wistful opener to their latest LP, The Fight.

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BlackBook Tracks #17: A Chill In The Air

It’s cold, y’all. I cannot even deal with this right now. New season, new moods.

How To Dress Well – “& It Was U”

Tom Krell’s vision of stripped-down R&B is warm and cold at the same time. “& It Was U” has a purity to it that’s totally unforgettable.

Dirty Projectors – “About To Die”

Dirty Projectors’ Swing Lo Magellan has received plenty of praise, and for good reason. “About To Die” shifts and twists, delicately revolving around now-trademark female vocal harmonies.

Taken By Trees – “I Want You”

Swedish artist Victoria Bergsman takes wistful sentiment and pushes it into a surprisingly weird place. Her recently released album Other Worlds sees her paying tribute to the sounds of Hawaii unlike you’ve ever heard before.

Interpol – “Next Exit”

Whenever New York starts to feel dreary, it’s time to break out the Interpol.

Dead Man’s Bones – “Pa Pa Power”

Will Ryan Gosling ever rescue me from the hazards of my own life? Will he ever record another album with Dead Man’s Bones? His meme-worthiness may have declined lately, but let’s hope the answer to both is “yes.”

Feist – “Sealion” (Chromeo remix)

Back in the day, Feist’s tribute to the selkie myth received this funked-up remix from fellow Canadians Chromeo.

Diamond Rings – “I’m Just Me” (Yelle DJs remix)

The dancefloor becomes a dark place when French favorites Yelle take on this frank synth-pop anthem.

Foals – “Black Gold”

This seems like a good time to revisit all the feelings evoked by Foals’ 2010 album Total Life Forever. Haunting, gorgeous, and tightly held together.

Nico – “These Days”

In case you’ve been thinking about The Royal Tenenbaums recently.

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A Multimedia Guide to the New Liars Album

The sixth studio album from Liars has a funny name. It’s spelled WIXIW and pronounced like “wish you.” No matter how odd the title is, however, the music from the band that rose to indie fame alongside Interpol and Yeah Yeah Yeahs in an early aughts New York City is, as always, excellent.

The record won’t be out until June 4, but lucky for you it’s already streaming. Before you listen to the album, though, you might need the band to explain a few things.

Thankfully there’s a video for that.

And maybe you want to check out the Todd Cole-directed video for the album’s first single, “No. 1 Against The Rush.”

OK, now you’re ready to hear the record. Check it out here

Watch a New Music Video From The Hives

It’s been years since the New Rock Revolution hit and bands like The Hives (and The Strokes, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Interpol, et al) took the airwaves, bringing guitar rock back into vogue after the Ashanti-soaked early aughts.

The Hives, direct from Sweden, were one of the most successful of those groups, gaining serious traction thanks to songs like the undeniably catchy “Hate To Say I Told You So” and their habit of wearing matching black-and-white outfits.

And while the band has remained active, winning international awards and releasing albums, they’ve more or less dropped off the American rock radar. Until now. The video for “Go Right Ahead,” the first single off the forthcoming Lex Hives – out June 5 – was just released, and it showcases the Hives in very fine form.

The video was recorded live in the band’s studio (owned by ABBA’s Benny Andersson) on the Swedish island of Skeppsholmen and shows off a tight sound and not-at-all-diminished flair for foppery, thanks in part to the fancy camerawork of Travis Schneider.

Does this mean a revival for all of those bands that brought guitars back onto the radio in the early part of the millenium? Probably not, but once again The Hives are showing us they know better than anyone how to scratch our garage rock itch.

Interpol’s Paul Banks Interviews U.K. Music Sensation Anna Calvi

In an industry overrun by pop-princess zombies, British singer and guitarist Anna Calvi has quickly set herself apart with a seductive homespun sound, at once vulnerable and predatory. Although she’s petite and timid off stage, the moment Calvi steps into the bright lights, she transforms into a veritable force field of carnal energy. It’s fitting, then, that she’s embraced a matador aesthetic: slicked-back hair, boleros, and high-waisted trousers.

In the past six months, the 28-year-old performer has released her self-titled debut album, kicked off her first headlining tour, and earned accolades from the likes of Nick Cave, Brian Eno, and Karl Lagerfeld. Anna Calvi, which entered the UK charts in the Top 40, is the culmination of three years spent writing and recording in a basement in Fulham, London.

Although she opened for Interpol in Brixton last December, Calvi never actually met the rock trio’s lead singer, Paul Banks. From his getaway home in Panama, Banks called Calvi—just a few minutes before she took the stage in Cologne, Germany—to chat about the power of performance, restraint, and the dangerous appeal of reading your own reviews.

PAUL BANKS: Where are you? ANNA CALVI: I’m in Germany at the moment. I just got back from a month in Europe, so I feel for you. How long have you been on the road? It’s only been a week so far, but we’ve got another year to go.

Touring can be wonderful, but it can also be taxing. The shows make everything else worthwhile, but the day-to-day bus-and-hotel lifestyle gets old pretty quick. Does it get easier?

It changes, that’s for sure. I’ve often thought that I’d be in jail by now if I hadn’t found an outlet in singing. It’s that emotional release that sustains me over long tours. Performance is a very emotional thing for me, and it’s an experience that I wouldn’t be able to get in any other situation. It definitely helps get me through the harder parts of touring. All in all, I love doing it.

Is it true that you were in a punk band before working on this album? I did several different things just for the experience, but none of them were too serious. I waited until I felt confident enough as a singer to release my own material.

I read somewhere that you pushed aside other creative passions to focus on your music. I used to paint, but I felt most passionate about music—it felt natural to me. I do, however, see every aspect of the record-making process as art, and that includes how I dress and the artwork I put on the album cover. Do you have other creative pursuits? image

I have plans to go into some form of writing at some point in my life, and I started with graphic art, but music came most naturally in that it was almost a biological function. I figured the art thing wasn’t going to happen, and so I focused on music, which allows me to shut off some of the less pleasant aspects of my consciousness. Whether or not I ever got a record deal, I knew that music was going to come through me. I recorded half of this album before signing with a label. I knew there was a good probability that no one would ever hear it, but my need to make it was such that it didn’t even matter who was listening. You can hear it in the songs when a band makes music solely for their careers. I respect musicians who create because of passion, not vocation.

You can see the passion in your live shows, which are different than those of your average popstars. There’s a lot of improvisation when my band and I play live, which keeps it interesting. It’s difficult to find real chemistry with other musicians, and it’s even rarer when you get to keep it, so I feel lucky to love the musicians I play with. I would hate to be in a band with people I hardly knew and didn’t like that much.

Without an emotional connection, it would be impossible to play your kind of music. To what degree are you trained? I taught myself guitar.

Damn. I listened to a lot of guitarists—Jimi Hendrix, Django Reinhardt—when I was a kid, and I really got into making the guitar sound like other instruments and using it as an extension of my voice. I think not having taken lessons really helped me develop my own style and my own language with the instrument.

I’m also self-taught but I don’t have the chops you have on the guitar. It’s a testament to the sophistication of what you’re trying to express that you’ve pushed your technique to this level—yours is some virtuoso-level shit. I love dynamism in music, and the best way to achieve that is to go from nothing to everything. I love space in music.

Restraint is easier said than done. It’s never been my forte, but it’s a stylistic thing I really admire because it takes a lot of confidence to allow the melody to carry itself. Your music sounds like you have total ownership over the songs, like there’s only one way to make them sound. Are you reading your press? I’m aware that people don’t hate the music. At first, I found that people didn’t know what to make of me, which was frustrating. They were saying it was really dark and gothic, and I never really knew what “gothic” meant.

It’s a tricky thing, reading one’s own press. It’s not great for the artistic process. You’ve said that caring about how your album is received is “the kiss of death.” I assume you mean from a creative standpoint? If you start trying to please people or prove them wrong, it means you’re no longer doing things for yourself, but the whole point of making music is to satisfy yourself creatively. That’s why I made this album, and that’s something I never want to forget.

Top photo: Jacket by Emporio Armani. Necklace by Giles & Brother by Philip Crang. Hair by Kayla Michele @ Atelier Management. Makeup by Walter Oba L @ Atelier Management using Dior. Stylist’s Assistant: Jaclyn Konopka . Photography by Aaron Richter.

Sponsored Post: Interpol Joins Creators Project

The Vice-fueled and Intel-funded digital arts behemoth known as The Creators Project has scored another coup, recruiting indie stalwarts Interpol to their stable. Interpol will be helping out with The Studio, a creative grants program launched last month. Of course, that’s not all they’re up to.

The boys from New York are planning to assemble a “unique, technologically advanced musical experience” in collaboration with a number of other artists. This hybrid creature will launch at Coachella and then tour the world. See the long interview below for more details on all this stuff and all other things Interpolian.

Feel free to check out The Creators Project on Facebook & Twitter.

Interpol Takes Us to Their Favorite Downtown Haunts

Interpol lead singer and guitarist Paul Banks sits in a windowless lounge in the Soho headquarters of Matador Records, his face obscured by aviator sunglasses and the brim of a black fedora. He’s joined by his bandmates, guitarist Daniel Kessler and drummer Sam Fogarino, each dressed in somber tones that, were it not for their impeccable tailoring, would make them indistinguishable from the trendy young New Yorkers sitting around the office.

“It’s erotic and creepy,” says Banks of the music video for “Lights,” a haunting track off Interpol’s new self-titled album, out this month. The video interpretation of their already pitch-black song was directed by Charlie White, who also helmed the video for their 2005 song “Evil,” which followed a puppet on his way to the hospital a er a brutal car accident. Not surprisingly, the video for “Lights” is equally twisted, featuring a pair of attractive Asian “courtesans” preparing a “doe” for pheromone-harvesting, a ritual that occurs, as the title card helpfully informs, “deep within the inner chambers of the three-horned rhinoceros beetle.”

“Charlie is obsessed with sex and death. He’s a man after my own heart,” says Banks, who recently split from his longtime girlfriend, supermodel Helena Christensen. The video is a far cry from most of the pop frippery out there—Katy Perry and her whipped cream breasts; Lady Gaga and her firework breasts—but then, so is Interpol.

Over the course of eight years and four albums, fans have watched the band evolve from post-punk revivalists to indie rock innovators, defining and re-defining their sound while sharing the stage with some of the world’s mightiest rock legends. They headlined a North American tour this past summer, and will support U2 on a spate of European gigs this month and next. Still, their latest album marks a turning point for a group that’s often compared to Manchester rock pioneers Joy Division. “We wanted to do something different from what we had done before,” says Daniel Kessler, which meant building instrumentation and bringing keyboards and melodies to the forefront.

Interpol has been based in New York since 1997, when the band first began performing together at downtown clubs like Luna Lounge. And while they could probably do what they do anywhere in the world at this point, their formative years in the city helped define them as a band. “With New York, a lot of people are affected by their first year or so,” Kessler says. “Either they run screaming and crying, or they succeed in what they’re trying to do. I could go to Uruguay and still feel the essence of New York and be inspired by the time I spent here. Once a New Yorker, always a New Yorker.”

Cienfuegos: “This is where I come to pull chicks. That’s really the main reason. And, yeah, there are good Cuban sandwiches downstairs. Upstairs, they serve exotic punches in big carafes with ladles and some of the better cocktails in the city. They have this amazing drink called Rosa Verde with watermelon and arugula. The owner [Ravi DeRossi] also runs Death & Co., which is one of the best cocktail bars in the city, along with The Bourgeois Pig, 124 Rabbit Club, and a Mexican place up the block called Mayahuel, so he’s got a little empire going on.” —Paul Banks


Anfora: “I met [owner Joe Campanale] at a dinner party. We became friends and he’s since taught me a lot about wine. He also owns the restaurant next door, dell’anima, and L’Artusi, just a few blocks away. It feels like you’re doing something a little swanky at this wine bar, but without the pretension. You could come in wearing a pair of jeans and still have a glass of $80 Barolo. It brings this level of sophistication down to earth. I’m into white wine, so I always tell Joe ‘dry but fruity.’ They serve sandwiches, cheese plates, and stuff from very specific regions of Italy—a lot of salamis and cured meats. The prosciutto and the beef bresaola are my favorites.” —Sam Fogarino


Rebel Rebel Records: “This is the place to go for vinyl. The owner and I have like-minded tastes. It was a shame when we lost Virgin Records in Union Square, but I would care more if we lost this one. Good record stores are a dying breed, and I think this one is the real deal.” —Paul Banks


Matt Umanov Guitars: “I bought my first guitar, a Guild, here in 1992. I thought it was awesome at the time. The last thing I got here was a 12-string Gibson. I like the dudes who run this place.” —Paul Banks


Cafe Gitane: “I’ve been coming here for 15 years. It’s always filled with people, but I can still find peace of mind. They have a great salad with beets, apples, and endive, and an avocado on toast that’s very tasty, too. The place is tiny, but it works—plus, it’s a nice spot to sit outdoors and catch up with someone you haven’t seen in a while. It’s a good rendezvous spot.” —Daniel Kessler


Lord Willy’s: “I keep coming back because of the personalities who work here, and I love the shirts. They’re done with classic English tailoring. The colors are always playful, almost post-dandyish. They’re from an era that’s not around anymore. The shirts fit so well that I don’t have to wear them with a tie to make them look nice. You can dress them up as much or as little as you want.” —Paul Banks


Freemans Sporting Club: “There’s an adjacent restaurant, Freemans, which I went to before I knew about this place. As we were leaving, I walked out onto Rivington Street, and I was like, What’s this? I walked in, and I thought, is is probably the coolest clothing store I’ve ever been in. And there’s a barbershop, too? I’ve known Shorty, my barber, for the better part of 12 years, and I turn around and he’s cutting hair here! We hadn’t seen each other in a while because I had been touring, but that brought me back here. I like the whole concept of the men’s club. Hemingway would have shopped here. I got this brown leather belt, this green shirt, and a couple of winter pieces. This stuff is going to endure for decades. I’ll come here when I’m 70 years old and it will feel just as natural as it does now. —Sam Fogarino

Photography by Brooke Nipar