The Strokes have shared the jaunty, synth-popped new song “One Way Trigger,” which combines Julian Casablancas’ falsetto’d romantic yearning with a backing beat that can’t help but recall A-ha’s 1985 hit, ‘”Take on Me.” While the New York City five-piece released the song on their website, where you can also download the track, they’ve made the stream available to others, so dig right in to the first taste of the Strokes’ forthcoming fifth album.
Initial reports about an incoming new track came from Seattle radio station 107.7 The End, who were treated to a preview of two songs, one called “All the Time” and the other a “more synth-driven track,” which now appears to be “One Way Trigger.” The station teased the news on Jan. 16 through their Facebook page, adding that they’ll “have to ‘leak’ [‘All the Time’] soon.” Billboard then confirmed that the Strokes’ fifth record would come out later this year and that “All the Time” would be the lead single. Clearly, we are not listening to “All the Time.”
Prior to this, details on a forthcoming LP were scarce. As early as April 2011 — just one month after Angles dropped — bassist Nikolai Fraiture tweeted “Super excited to go in to the studio today and work on some new ideas! I’ll keep you posted…” before adding, “For The Strokes, of course!” A month later, Fraiture told Rolling Stone, “We’re trying not to lose momentum by taking time off and then having to reboot the whole system.” He went on, saying, “If we could do it tomorrow, that’d be great. But yeah, as soon as possible I think.”
The bassist also said the band would continue with the recording process they used for Angles, where each member had a hand in the songwriting (though he didn’t specify whether or not Casablancas would skip the group sessions as he did previously). “We’re bringing in parts and ideas,” Fraiture said, “and kind of just working on those and trying to make sense of them, coming from five different people.” Guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. was hesitant to commit to a timeline though, saying, “Let’s get songs first and then think about recording.”
A year later, in June 2012, Billboard reported that the Gang of Five were working in New York’s legendary Electric Lady Studios with producer Gus Oberg, who mixed parts of Angles, but Pitchfork immediately followed up with a report disputing that story. NME later confirmed that the Strokes were in fact busy with their fifth full-length, as per Hammond’s father, Albert Hammond Sr., who said his son told him “the stuff they’re doing is incredible.”