I really hate making comparisons, but I also really hate a lot of what Julian Casablancas has done since ending The Strokes. The last record from The Voidz featured one semi-acceptable song, "Leave It In My Dreams" – mostly by virtue of it leaning directly into that infamous lazy drawl of Casablancas', the one where it sounds like he's been left drying out and day-drinking in the sun – while the rest of that album resembled a mechanical head-ache. Fuck that album into the ground.
The December 2013 collaboration between Daft Punk and The Strokes frontman, however, is good. Casablancas is an intriguingly sad robot, and the track is distinctive in how unique it is. It's also, for right or wrong, one of the first things I think about when hearing the latest track from XL Recording's new signing Baba Stiltz. Called "Maze" (watch above), the Swedish artist's debut for the label is absorbing, melancholic, from the future while also being nostalgic for the past, and is somewhere close to the canon of that Daft Punk record. Plus there's also this shot (below) where Stiltz is almost a splitting image of a younger Casablancas, back when he was still sexy and didn't dye his hair.
Look at those cheekbones and that motherfucking hair doing the job! Anyway: I digress. The song is good, it is warm, it is loving, it is – as one YouTube commentator described it – like DJ Koze, if DJ Koze was in his 20s and listened to Travis Scott, which is a fair enough statement and if you're reading this 'noodleface4' then please email me so we can commission you to write some more words, thanks.
The song is part of a new EP being released by XL Recordings and follows up Stiltz' 2014 album Total. Of the new songs, he says: “They all represent things I’ve been going through, just day to day stuff; travelling, DJing, meeting people, being alone a lot, falling in love, parties, hang overs etc." Though they may sound like small things, based on Stiltz work so far they'll be addressed with a depth that'll rival one of those plunge pools underneath a waterfall that you could definitely get lost in and never reach the bottom.
If you aren't already, watch the video above and zooooooooooooooooone all the way out of life.
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