You never really expect a rock star to utter the words, "being sober helps," in reference to their creativity and musical productivity. For Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr., however, sobriety was crucial for his creative rejuvenation (see this Zumic article for an in-depth analysis of the musician's previous drug habit). The soon-to-be-released EP, AHJ, is Hammond Jr.'s first solo material since ¿Cómo Te Llama? in 2008, which was recorded and produced while still struggling with addiction. This time around, the sober Hammond Jr. seems to be completely revived and excited about creating great new music for his fans.
In addition to AHJ being an emotional and personal triumph, it is also a musical feat for Albert Hammond Jr., playing all of the instruments with the exception of the drums. "Cooker Ship" displays his previously unrecognized vocal range, reaching the upper registers in the anthemic choruses. "St. Justice" and "Strange Tidings" are both reminiscent early guitar-driven Strokes material.
AHJ is a sign that Hammond Jr. is committed to what he's doing and no longer void of a creative conscious. In regards to his new attitude, he told Rolling Stone, "Stop trying to hide behind things. Just do it and take the good and the bad straight up. I'm excited about that. I'm ready." I think it's safe to say that his fans are also excited and ready.
The EP will be released October 8th on Julian Casablanca's label, Cult Records. Hammond Jr. is also set to begin his tour on November 3rd in Washington D.C. You can find the full schedule on his official site. You can also pre-order the EP on Cult Records.
Source: Rolling Stone