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Turn On the Bright Lights

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Editors’ Notes

So influential as to have become almost invisible in the intervening years, 2002’s Turn on the Bright Lights practically minted American stadium indie rock. Interpol’s concrete-grey post-punk at first feels dominated by Paul Banks’ hectoring baritone, but shafts of light continually cut through. The stately “NYC” prefigures The National’s introspective triumphs, the hard-charging “PDA” is a seed for The Killers and Arcade Fire to water and “Untitled” is the song that dozens of would-be U2s are still trying to write.


Formed: 1998 in New York, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the leading post-punk revivalists of the 2000s and 2010s, Interpol took their cues from Joy Division and the Chameleons, fashioning a darkly atmospheric sound helmed by intricate guitars and Paul Banks' somber baritone. The group also had a striking visual presence marked by the members' fondness for suits, which only strengthened their stately, British-influenced appeal. Nevertheless, the band remained rooted in America, where guitarist Daniel Kessler and drummer Greg Drudy first struck up...
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