Phoenix made a grand return to Saturday Night Live last night (April 6), performing their Bankrupt! single “Entertainment” with all the aplomb that title deserves, then debuting a new song, “Trying to Be Cool,” as part of a two-track suite also including the familiar “Drakkar Noir.” We’ve heard both Blood Orange and Dinosaur Jr. offer their interpretations of “Entertainment,” but nothing quite beats watching these Frenchies bring the shimmering pop feat to life. In the clip above, the songs feels remarkably grand, helped along no doubt bearded wonder-drummer Thomas Hedlund who goes positively ham at 1:40. The next big highlight comes at the 3:00 mark, when the guys whip up an almost choral ahh-tack of voices and synths.
“Trying to Be Cool” offers a mellower groove with souring strums of shoegaze guitar and a bit of the late-night disco feel that Phoenix perfected so long ago. In speaking to Billboard, singer Thomas Mars explained that the song is, “About failing … When you’re in a rock band, you transform yourself into a hero, a kind of god-like figure. But the really great artists are more clever than that … Being cool is boring.” The new track transitions seamlessly into the highly danceable “Drakkar Noir,” which takes shots at “fake riches” and “oblivious tastes.” Watch that video below. Bankrupt! is out April 23. Read SPIN’s recent chat with the band to find out how they’re handling the anticipation, plus prepping for Coachella.