The release of the Strokes’ hotly-anticipated new album Angles is still two weeks away (the record hits store shelves on March 22), but eager fans already have two new songs to knock around until the full collection is released. The band already unveiled the first single “Under Cover of Darkness” a month ago (and the video just premiered last week), but the band used their second performance slot on Saturday night’s (March 5) episode of “Saturday Night Live” to pull back the curtain on another new song called “Life Is Simple in the Moonlight.”
The song, which was penned by frontman Julian Casablancas and is the closing track on Angles, begins in typical Strokes fashion, with a fuzzy, jangly guitar riff and Casablancas’ marble-mouthed but sweet vocals. But it soon morphs into something else entirely, becoming simultaneously more jagged and psychedelic, reaching into the distance for echoing guitar fills and quite a bit of back-end riffage. Rather than recall the band’s heroes from the ’70s, “Life Is Simple in the Moonlight” takes a bold step into the ’80s, borrowing from the likes of the Police and U2. It’s a bold experiment for the Strokes, and like “Under Cover of Darkness,” it takes what you’ve come to expect from the band and twists it just enough to make it sound alien and exciting.
This was the Strokes’ third time appearing as the musical guest on “Saturday Night Live,” as they previously performed in 2002 (backing up host Jack Black) and again in 2006 (alongside host Peter Sarsgaard). It was quite a music-centric episode on the whole, as it not only featured Miley Cyrus in the role of host but also contained a sketch poking fun at the Black Eyed Peas.