Tuesday, June 22nd is New York City’s mayoral primary, and The Strokes are hoping to jam their way to a better world by teasing the new song “Starting Again” in an ad for progressive candidate Maya Wiley.
Throughout the election, the New York rockers have been wildin’ out for Wiley, performing their first-ever unplugged set as a fundraiser on her behalf and following that with NYC’s first full-capacity indoor concert alongside fellow Wiley backers John Mulaney, Blood Orange, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Despite these famous fans, Wiley’s candidacy has struggled to gain traction, with recent polling putting her in fourth place behind Eric Adams, Andrew Yang, and Kathryn Garcia. However, NYC’s use of ranked-choice voting means that if she is the second- or third-choice candidate for enough voters, she still has a chance.
The Strokes’ rock Hail Mary was co-written by Julian Casablancas and Gregg Alexander of New Radicals. In a dual statement, the pair said,
“In an era of voter suppression and mega donors dismantling democracy, it’s crucial to remember New York City is too important to risk handing the reins of America’s most diverse metropolis to the same kind of party machine that’s controlled NY’s governance for most of the 20th century… one of Brooklyn clubhouse politics, big real-estate money, and mutual back-scratching. It is time we elect Maya as the city’s first woman mayor to make things better for ALL of our futures.”
In the TV ad, the song plays behind black-and-white footage of Wiley stumping with voters, alongside shots of the Statue of Liberty and clips of some of her big-name endorsers. “Starting again,” Casablancas sings over an adventurous guitar riff and persistent palm-muted guitars.
Besides that, The Strokes unveiled a version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” that shows off something they called “acoustic autotune.” Check out that, as well as the Maya Wiley TV ad, below.