The Strokes‘ Albert Hammond Jr. has announced his fourth solo album, Francis Trouble, and released its first single, “Muted Beatings,” with a debut performance on Conan. The new album is out March 9 from Red Bull Records.
In a press release, Hammond Jr. revealed an intensely personal inspiration behind the record: The stillbirth of a twin brother, Francis, months before Albert’s own healthy birth. Francis Trouble reportedly addresses Hammond Jr.’s lingering sense that his identity is connected to his late twin. It’s not a light topic, but don’t expect Hammond Jr. to get too morbid about it: “What the music says may be serious, but as a medium it should not be questioned, analyzed or taken too seriously,” he’s quoted saying. “I think it should be tarted up, made into a character, a parody of itself.”
Hammond Jr.’s previous solo album was 2015’s Momentary Masters. The Strokes released an EP, Future Present Past, in 2016. Hammond Jr. plays several U.S. shows with the Killers over the next week, an upcoming U.K. and Europe tour with Franz Ferdinand, and a solo U.S. tour after that; see those dates here.
Hammond Jr. and his band debuted “Muting Beatings” last night with a live performance on Conan. Watch that performance and stream the studio version below; find the album cover art and track list below that.