Watch: The Strokes Have a Nifty, Unsettling Video for New Song “Drag Queen”


It seems that singer Julian Casablancas has convinced his fellow Strokes to embrace his vision as a retro-futurist doomsayer, a position he adopted when he started fronting the Voidz. (That group’s 2015 album, Tyranny, is an hourlong trip to hell.) The proof of the Strokes boarding this train to apocalypse is in the sound of “Drag Queen,” a song from the Strokes’ new Future Present Past EP — and that song’s new video only hammers the point home.

It’s only a lyric video, but it’s filled with neat, nostalgia-baiting imagery. The animation was done by Gustavo Torres, whose work is distinctly Tron-inspired, pairing dated CGI with wireframes and hyper-neon, throwing in some vague, Asian type to boot. This all sounds to the video’s detriment, but it’s not. More than anything Casablancas has created or commissioned in years, somehow this little lyric video seems to most accurately capture the vibe he’s been chasing since 2009’s Phrazes for the Young. As for the lyrics, well, they’re not as bad as Casablancas’s have been in the past.

The Future Present Past EP is out now on streaming services. It was announced and released on the same day, last week, in what was one of the most anticlimactic releases in recent history, each song being released an hour after the last on a different service.

Watch the video below. If you live in New York, or just really love the Strokes, it’s also been announced that they’ll be opening a pop-up shop at Bowery and 4th this Sunday, June 5, from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.