The War On Drugs have released the final offering from their upcoming album, I Don’t Live Here Anymore. ‘Change’ follows the release of the LP’s first single ‘Living Proof’ and its title track. The band have also previewed snippets of other songs from the record, which is set to drop on Friday, October 29th, via Atlantic, marking their first release since 2017’s A Deeper Understanding.
The War On Drugs started making a buzz back in 2011, just a few years after the group was founded by close collaborators Adam Granduciel and Kurt Vile. Following the release of their debut, Vile left to pursue a successful solo career while The War On Drugs set about working on their follow up, Slave Ambient. Released in 2011 to modest reviews, the album saw the Pihllidelphia indie-rockers begin a slow rise to success. With the release of their 2014 album Lost in the Dream, they became a festival mainstay around the world and the guiding light of indie rock.
Musically, their new single ‘Change’ doesn’t stray too far from the path the group forged for themselves with Lost In The Dream tracks like ‘Under The Pressure’. Infused with perfectly produced, reverberant ’80s drums and chorus-laden dual guitar lines, the single once again reveals the enduring influence of new-romantics A Flock Of Seagulls.
Lyrically, however, Adam Granduciel – the group’s bandleader and vocalist – confronts something previously unspoken, the challenges of growing older, and changing as an individual. Speaking about the single in a recent interview, Granduciel said: “I think there’s an affirmation almost in understanding you’re not perfect. Nobody is. you understand that you may be flawed, but you also understand what is true and important and at the end of the day only certain things really matter.”
Granduciel went on to describe how seeing his songs grow has made him realise the importance of music as a form of heritage, a realisation that came to define The War On Drugs’ approach with this new record: “Watching my son twist knobs, plug stuff in, play synths or harmonica – it made me realise that this was something I was passing down,” he began. “It reminded me that at any level the music should be filled with wonder. I was filled with that myself trying to get to the heart of a song on this record. When you find it, it excites you and you can’t stop thinking about it.”
Certainly, ‘Change’ seems a little older and wiser. And yet, it still feels firmly rooted in the band’s past. For many that will be reassuring, but I can’t help feeling that – to quote The Smiths – I’ve “heard this one before”. Hopefully, the release of the full LP will prove me wrong.