Just heard Human Sadness by Julian Casablancas + The Voidz. I’ve been waiting for months for Julian to put out material for his new album. I’ve even seen him at Governor’s Ball and I enjoyed the new songs I heard there. Most of the new songs were loud, noise, punk influenced. Lots of vocoder on his part. Rough sounding, with some propaganda like images that was shown on the teaser video for Tyranny.
I was pretty excited to see that Human Sadness came out the other day. It’s a whopping 10:57. There are so many layers to this song. I’ve listened to it for a few times. And to say the least, in my opinion, it’s beautiful. It’s so refreshing. Phrazes for the Young was so diverse and different from The Strokes so it just shows you Julian’s musical imagination. But with Human Sadness, there are so many aspects to cover. The music is fantastic. The bass line is nice, the distorted guitars, all the other instruments drive the song into what the song is about. From what I’ve read online, the lyrics relate to Julian’s dad who recently passed away. From anyone who has followed The Strokes or knows Julian from interviews and biographies, he had a distant relationship with his father John Casablancas, who was the founder of Elite Model Agency, one of the top fashion agencies for models. He said that his step father (who also made the album art for Tyranny) influenced him to get more into music and to be more serious about art. But if you read the lyrics, they could relate to his relationship with his father. They are deep, introspective lyrics.
The song itself builds up, calms down, builds up again and calms down to the end. Julian’s vocal performance is beautiful in my opinion. The vocoder parts are interesting. Sometimes you probably won’t fully understand what words he’s saying due to the effects on his vocals. But the emotion he delivers when singing is cathartic, during both vocoder and normal singing voice. There’s a reason to why JC is one of my favorite vocalists. He has a distinct singing voice that’s filled with emotion and the way he delivers it is astounding. When he sings, it’s genuine. Real emotions.
So Human Sadness is a great song to say the least. I just can’t wait for Tyranny to come out later this month. JC delivers in the most surprising ways. He’s not restricted to general rock sounds. He always changes it up, diversifies his music. And his music is genuine, pure and has real emotions. Those are the many reasons to why he’s one of my favorite artists.