The Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas is keeping himself busy with his latest project: The Voidz. The group is a complete 180-departure from The Strokes’ iconic sound, opting for extreme experimentation and psychedelic sounds.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Casablancas said that “Did My Best” is about “nostalgia and not giving a shit about it personally.” When talking about the accompanying video, he explained, “I started the way I start most things, with a vague, blurry end vision in mind. It’s like one of those videos people make at parties. It’s like, ‘What is this world? Who are these people?”
With that said, the group’s newest song, “Did My Best,” can’t help but harken back to Casablancas’ previous work. The synth-tinged instrumentals add a beachy haze to Casablancas’ crooning. “Let me tell you a story about // ‘Bout the hazy good ole’ days,” Casablancas opens the tune. At first, it seems like he is craving nostalgia. True to his statement in Rolling Stone, however, he finishes the song declaring, “I never think about those days // Everyone’s talking about // They were the best, I guess.”
The video itself is actually a “double-header music feature,” including a previously released song from The Voidz, titled “The Eternal Tao 2.0.” “The Eternal Tao 2.0” was co-produced by Mac Demarco and Kirin J. Callinan. DeMarco is set to open for The Strokes in Brooklyn on New Year’s Eve.
The “Did My Best” portion of the video is reminiscent of classic films, with grainy film and captions appearing on the screen. The band is joined by some interesting characters throughout the video, including “A.I. She-Bots” and “Man Behind The Curtain,” played by Mac Demarco. The black-and-white footage is occasionally dispersed by the band covered by neon wiring while playing in a dark room.
It’s in “The Eternal Tao 2.0” portion of the video that things get weird. The song is a huge departure from “Did My Best,” and the video reflects that. The video still features footage from the previous song, mixed in with bizarre and trippy animations. The frantic, track led by Casablancas’ heavily auto-tuned vocals, is backed by colorful and dream-like scenes, including a desert landscape with statues as well as a champagne glass holding an eyeball in it.
The two parts of the video fit the moods of their respective songs well. The critical “Did My Best” shows vintage-style footage, while throwing in things that show the warped point of view people have about the past. “The Eternal Tao 2.0,” on the other hand, launches into a psychedelic and futuristic world, with elements of the past still present, perhaps showing that we can never truly escape it.
Check out the double feature video for “Did My Best” and “The Eternal Tao” below. The video was directed by Johann Rashid (Promiseland), with animation by Benjamin Portas.
Featured Image: Cult Records