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Julian Casablancas’ The Voidz – “QYURRYUS”

Julian Casablancas’ band the Voidz (formerly Julian Casablancas + the Voidz) have released the second single from their upcoming album Virtue, which is due out on March 31, and it’s unequivocally one of the oddest pieces of music released by a major rock or pop artist in some time. The genre-agnostic freakiness of “QYURRYUS” extends far beyond just the title and the unintelligible libretto, making their previous album Tyranny’s decomposing ten-minute dirge “Human Sadness” sound like “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” Goth-pop arpeggios and a house-ish breakbeat propel the song along; one begins to conjure mental images of aggressively anti-social drugs you didn’t know existed. Increasingly odd flourishes, like a guitar melody that sounds appropriated from a Bollywood song, dominate. Soaring T-Pain/808s and Heartbreak-era Autotune melismas create a call and response with the ominous, cultish lead group vocal later in the song.

It seems unambiguous that “QYURRYUS” is some kind of major statement, even if you find it less strangely listenable than I do. It would be hard for it to land further afield from the exuberant and melodic pop-rock stylings of the group’s previous single “Leave It In My Dreams,” which they released on Tuesday. Listen to “QYURRYUS,” in all its queasy glory, and watch the video below.