‘The New’ as work-in-progress

“Could you analyze The New? Their Peel Session is terrific.”
– ant from Spain (see comment on May 8 blog entry)

“I’m with you 100%. Interpol does some excellent extended guitar outros. Can we add New to the list?”
-Mark (comment on April 21 entry)

– Thanks for the suggestion, ant. I had actually never heard Interpol’s 2001 Peel session before, and listening to this recording of “The New” really opened my ears to the song, particularly because of the differences between this version and the TOTBL version. My comparison of the two versions is at the bottom of this post. As can be seen, the majority of the big differences between the versions involve the vocals.

– In the Peel version of “The New,” Banks does a fair amount of “vocalizing,” while in the studio version these vocalizations are completely absent, replaced by new, additional lyrics. Also, there are some lyrics during what I call the “interlude” in the Peel version that I can’t make out (if any of you can, post them here please!), and that are absent in the studio version.

– In general, I hear the Peel version of “The New” as less precise than the studio version. I don’t use “less precise” pejoratively—I am not against “imprecise” music. But it is interesting to hear how Banks, for example, replaces a more free vocalizing (often singing along with the guitar line) with either lyrics or silence in the studio version. In addition, some of the guitar work (e.g. at the moment that I label “transition”) is more precise in the studio version than in the Peel version, though this could simply be attributed to the live vs. studio recording factor.

– By comparing these two versions of “The New,” I get the sense that Interpol in their early days may have toyed with looser musical forms and more improvisatory melodic/harmonic moments in their songs, but eventually turned to the more precise and exact route of songwriting by the time of the recording of TOTBL. By taking this route they make the statement that their songs are finished and complete once they are recorded, unlike in an improvisatory situation where the song can be different every time depending on what the performers come up with during the improvisation.

– I’m itching to do a more thorough analysis of this song, including more on the harmonies, melodies, etc. and how they work together with the lyrics. This kind of analysis takes a considerable amount of work, but I hope I can find the time to do it soon!

Until next time,
Much Love from,

“The New” Peel session version (2001):
0:00 bass intro, 0:16 guitar scrapes
0:34 verse
1:08 pre-chorus, vocalizing in the background
1:42 chorus
2:15 interlude, unintelligible lyrics in the background
2:50 transition
3:08 guitar solo, vocalizing in the background
3:40 secondary chorus, vocalizing in the background
3:56 bass/guitar solo
4:13 coda
4:46 bass/guitar solo
5:03 more coda
5:35 outro

“The New” TOTBL version (2002):
0:00 guitar scrapes, 0:06 bass intro
0:40 verse
1:14 pre-chorus, lyrics
1:48 chorus
2:22 interlude (no vocals)
2:56 transition
3:14 guitar solo (no vocals)
3:45 secondary chorus, lyrics
4:03 bass/guitar solo
4:20 coda
4:53 bass/guitar solo
5:11 more coda
5:43 outro


~ by megwilhoite on June 9, 2008.

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