Lonely Thomas Mars Talks New Phoenix Album as CFDA Embraces Sofia

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Mr. Mars and Ms. Coppola, at Monkey bar.

“Sofia, Sofia!” the cameramen cried at the entrance of Lincoln Center, the venue for Monday’s CFDA awards. Ms. Coppola had just arrived.

“Kirsten!” they yelled.  “Marc!” they yelled. “Sofia! Sofia! Sofia!” they yelled.

Then Mr. Jacobs and Ms. Dunst went with Ms. Coppola to the left, to have their picture taken, and Thomas Mars–the lead singer of Phoenix and the director’s husband-to-be–peeled off to the right.

“I have to go to the other side,” he told The Observer as we edged past models resting flutes in their fingers, waiters with glass trays of flatbreads, and Anna Wintour. “I don’t like to have my picture taken.”

We told him that, here, he’s most certainly alone in that preference.

Mr. Mars edged his way over to the cluster of stars expelled from the camera row–Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen had just finished up–as he craned his neck up, out of the haze of colliding fragrances

“I’m just looking for Sophia, where…– oh, there she is,” he said. They had been separated nearly one minute.

The floppy-haired Parisian explained he was in New York with the boys in the band recording a follow-up to Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, the album that spent years soundtracking car commercials. But of course it was quite good and The Observer talked about when we could get more.

“We are writing now, with us it’s taking a while, because it’s the way we work,” he said slowly, in that Gallic lilt. “It could be six months, it could be two years.”

A non-answer, he admitted.

Mr. Mars asked if Lady Gaga, the guest of honor, had made her entrance. We had not seen it, we said, so it surely had not happened. Perhaps they could book studio time together, though, if they met later in the night? He shook his head.

“She’s probably heard us, but she probably wont know my face,” he said. “And that’s a good thing.”

He then brushed back his hair with a hand, and wandered his gaze back to the red carpet, back to Ms. Coppola, Ms. Dunst, and Mr. Jacobs, as he stood there alone.

“Collaborating is the thing I’m the worst at.”