It’s been a good year for those Strokes fanatics among us dismayed by the band’s committment to not record new music until 2009: Fab is in nineteen different California bands, Julian made an appearance in that Converse ad that subsequently put his face on every billboard in NYC, Albert put out his best solo album yet, Nick is cultivating an ill hair style, and now Nikolai has a new album of his own ready to be released in January. On The Time of the Assassins — either a reference to Henry Miller/Rimbaud or a samurai video game, you pick — Fraiture aka Nickel Eye is joined by the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Nick Zinner, Regina Spektor and South, who you might remember from the salad days of Mo’ Wax, or not. We know what your first question is going to be already: That dude is not mute? He is not, in fact, he sings pretty great, like Rufus Wainwright on lots of pills, and the songs are unsurprisingly catchy Strokes-ian jams of varying bounce and mostly acoustic guitar. What is surprising is ol’ Nik’s gift with the pen. All those years of standing silently onstage, he’s been coming up with some real poignant zingers, especially on this FADER exclusive, “Another Sunny Afternoon,” in which he breaks down the good life. You can hear a few more songs on his MySpace, including the first song Ronson played for us last summer, “Brandy of the Damned,” a total jam. Time of the Assassins will be out on Ryko on January 27th.
Nickel Eye, “Another Sunny Afternoon”