Nick Valensi is the last member of The Strokes to really delve into a side or solo project. He’s co-written tracks with Sia and played guitar on Brody Dalle‘s album, but a full record of his own? Nah.
Until now, that is. Earlier this summer, Valensi announced his new group CRX, which also features Richie Follin (Guards), Ralph Alexander (The Dose), Darian Zahedi and Jon Safley (The Reflections). Later came the news their debut album ‘New Skin’ was produced by man with the golden touch Josh Homme and is out October 28, but up until today the only way you’ll have been able to actually hear the band is at the handful of live shows they’ve done in the States, or by enduring the crackly videos of those performances on Instagram.
First single ‘Ways To Fake It’ is a stunning introduction to CRX. It’s vibrant and visceral, rushing with excitement and hugely poppy. “I got ways to fake it/You’ll never know,” coos Valensi on the chorus, sounding like he’s fully owning his new role as frontman. Underneath, Follin delivers a glittering keyboard line that gives the whole thing a new wave sparkle. A bold, brilliant start that’s made the wait for the guitarist to embark on his own adventures outside his day job totally worthwhile.