Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Track of the Week: The War on Drugs "Under the Pressure"

Lost in the Dream by The War On Drugs was by far my favorite album of last year.  It has an amazing atmosphere that I am always glad to find myself (excuse the expression) lost in.  The production is reminiscent of the 1980s with the worst excesses toned down: airy synthesizers, reverby guitar, echoey piano, and metronomic drums.  Singer and composer Andrew Granduciel's has a bit of raspy Bob Dylan in its grain, making "Under the Pressure" sound like a lost outtake from Oh Mercy.

"Under the Pressure" kicks off the album and sets the mood.  Although this is hardly a barn burner, the tempo is fast and insistent, and Granduciel lets out a few "whoos."  I find myself listening to it a lot in the morning, riding the train into New York City with the sun barely peaking over the horizon of the New Jersey swamps.  It's such a beautiful song, a kind of morning prayer as I head off to work at the start of another day.

TS Eliot was wrong.  April is by no means the cruelest month, February's got it beat by a country mile.  Winter has been here for months, and now it is getting colder than ever at a time when my body is crying out for spring.  Music is one my healthier means of surviving it, and when I listen to The War On Drugs, I feel a kind of spiritual warmth.  Rarely have I found music this theraputic for this trying time of the year.

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