Photo: Atiba Jefferson

Interpol are still in terrific shape, methods refined on “Toni”, from their new album

It’s been two decades since Interpol steeped our memories in Turn on the Bright Lights, and today the trio have announced they will release their seventh LP The Other Side Of Make-Believe on July 15 through Matador.

The Other Side Of Make-Believe was inaugurated by the band remotely but wrapped in a rented home in the Catskills. They enlisted veteran producer Flood (U2, NIN, Depeche Mode) to bring us out of our celibacy as they teamed up again with producer/engineer Alan Moulder (Smashing Pumpkins, NIN, My Bloody Valentine). The collaborations proved crucial in maturing their sound; after all, as Paul Banks says: “there’s always a seventh time for a first impression.”

They’ve also given us a nibble on our fishing rods with the first single, “Toni”. To accompany, Van Alpert directed “a hyper-modern, cinematic dance film” for his all-time favorite band. The second single and part two of the film will be here in a couple of days.

As our Interpol favorites typically go, a prominent single instrument opens “Toni”; this time a simple piano arpeggio taking the place of the usual guitar drenched in effects. We only have to wait 25 seconds or so for that pounding, pally kick-drum, then the bouncing hi-hat from drummer Sam Fogarino who hears inspiration in their sounds from the music of the 50s and 60s.

This influence extends to the West Side Story imagery of the “Toni” video. Vocalist Paul Banks sits right next to you: exposed, unburied, vulnerable. Mostly absent here are the layering, multiples of vocals and harmonies that have defined the Interpol sound: this is not how we remember them, but as it goes on, it continues to connect you to their chilled personality: “still terrific in shape / my methods refined”; “that’s Toni.” 

Don’t even think about pressing play first on your phone without proper cans: clear out the cobwebs, listen and watch. Strum your fingers along with the bright glissandos; learn the choreographed rhythm. Let the updated sound of Interpol take hold as we all process the last few years and the band teaches us how, as Dan Kessler describes, to search “for tender, resonant emotions.” We may find the same sense of euphoria imprinting again and beginning to create another reminiscent bump. After all, “I like to see them win.”

Watch the “Toni” video below or find the song on streaming platforms.

Interpol’s new album The Other Side of Make-Believe comes out on July 15 through Matador (pre-order/save). You can find the band on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Catch them live at these dates:

25.4 – Dallas, TX @ The Factory in Deep Ellum*
26.4 – Austin, TX @ ACL Live at the Moody Theater*
28.4 – Tempe, AZ @ Marquee Theatre*
29.4 – San Diego, CA @ Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre*
30.4 – Berkeley, CA @ Greek Theatre*
2.5 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Union*
3.5 – Denver, CO @ Mission Ballroom**
5.5 – St. Paul, MN @ Palace Theatre*
6.5 – Chicago, IL @ Byline Bank Aragon Ballroom*
7.5 – Detroit, MI @ The Fillmore Detroit*
8.5 – Cleveland, OH @ Agora Theatre*
10.5 – Washington, DC @ The Anthem*
11.5 – Boston, MA @ Roadrunner*
13.5 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Met Philadelphia*
14.5 – Brooklyn, NY @ Kings Theatre*
15.5 – Brooklyn, NY @ Kings Theatre*
21.5 – Los Angeles, CA @ Rose Bowl, Pasadena – Just Like Heaven***
28.5 – Mexico City, MEX @ Palacio De Los Deportes****
8.6 – Barcelona, Spain @ Sala Apolo
9.6 – Barcelona, Spain @ Primavera Sound
11.6 – Porto, Portugal @ Primavera Sound
12.6 – Berlin, Germany @ Templehof Sounds Festival
14.6 – London, UK @ The Roundhouse (SOLD OUT)
15.6 – London, UK @ The Roundhouse
16.6 – Brussels, Belgium @ Ancienne Belgique
18.6 – Paris, France @ Salle Pleyel
19.6 – Landgraaf, Netherlands @ Pinkpop Festival
*plus TYCHO + Matthew Dear
**plus Matthew Dear
***plus The Shins, Modest Mouse, M.I.A and more
****plus Dry Cleaning