Photo: Shawn Brackbill
The War On Drugs left us stunned and wanting more after their release of their first song and music video, “Living Proof”, from their newest album release in four years, as well as the exciting announcement of a 2022 North American and European tour.
This “Living Proof” single is quite simply breathtaking as it draws us in with beautiful piano chords and folk like guitar strums which elegantly complement the strong yet raw feeling vocals, giving it a heartland rock impression. The song, along with the music video, translates our own experience into songs which we can share through intricate lyrics that direct our gaze toward the possibility of what is to come. The slow tempo and stripped back vocals are something quite different to what we’ve heard in some of their past albums which often consist of electric guitar and indie rock vibes.
The “Living Proof” video, directed by filmmaker Emmett Malloy, and shot on 16mm, captures Granduciel at the historic Panoramic studio in Stinson Beach, California. The War On Drugs’ particular combination of intricacy and imagination animates the 10 songs of I Don’t Live Here Anymore, buttressing the feelings of Granduciel’s personal odyssey.
Over the last 15 years, The War on Drugs have steadily emerged as one of this century’s great rock and roll synthesists, being described as a range of rock styles from indie rock to heartland rock to neo-psychedelia to Americana. They have effortlessly removed the gaps between the underground and the mainstream by combining obtuse and anthemic elements, making records that wrestle a fractured past into a unified and engrossing present. The War On Drugs have never done that as well as they do with their fifth studio album, I Don’t Live Here Anymore, an uncommon rock album about one of our most common but daunting processes—resilience in the face of despair.
Just a month after The War On Drugs’ A Deeper Understanding received the 2018 Grammy for Best Rock Album, their bandleader Adam Granduciel, bassist Dave Hartley, and multi-instrumentalist Anthony LaMarca retreated to upstate New York where they challenged their own predetermined roles within live performances and cut new demos, turning out early versions of some of the most immediate songs on I Don’t Live Here Anymore. They spent countless hours peeling back every piece of these songs and, along with their co-producer/engineer Shawn Everett, began rebuilding them. It was the start of a dozen-plus session odyssey that spanned three years and seven studios, including some of rock’s greatest sonic workshops like Electric Lady in New York and Los Angeles’ Sound City.
The War On Drugs’ 2022 tour takes the band to some of the largest venues they’ve ever played, including their first headlining show at Madison Square Garden, as well as Los Angeles’ Shrine Auditorium and the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. The tour reaches the UK in April 2022 for a handful of dates including a performance at London’s O2 Arena and the First Direct Arena in Leeds. The full itinerary can be found on the band’s website. Tickets are on sale here on Friday, July 23rd at 10am local time. Upcoming UK and Ireland live info below:
Monday 11th April 2022 – Birmingham – O2 Academy
Tuesday 12th April 2022 – London – O2 Arena
Thursday 14th April 2022 – Dublin – 3 Arena
Saturday 16th April 2022 – Leeds – First Direct Arena
Monday 18th April 2022 – Edinburgh – Corn Exchange