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The War On Drugs @ KCRW'S Apogee Sessions 8/5/17. Photo by Larry Hirshowitz. Courtesy of KCRW. Used with permission.
The War On Drugs @ KCRW’S Apogee Sessions 8/5/17. Photo by Larry Hirshowitz. Courtesy of KCRW. Used with permission.

Santa Monica, CA- On August 24th, KCRW will broadcast the taping of an intimate performance by The War On Drugs held at Apogee Session 8/5/17. With Adam Granduciel and company set to release their next album, “A Deeper Understanding”, the following day, the timing couldn’t be more perfect.

I remember my “Aha!” moment with the The War On Drugs. I was a perusing a record store in Echo Park, CA when I came across a limited edition vinyl copy of their album “Lost In A Dream”. As a vinyl collector, anything “limited edition” catches my eye, and this album, with its sexy title and shiny sticker proclaiming its purple uniqueness,  just drew me in. I hate to admit it, but when I purchased the album I new nothing about the band or their music other than what the shop proprietor told me- which, if I recall correctly was, “It’s a mellow listen”.

As soon as I got back home, I gently cut the shrink wrap allowing for just enough space for the disc to slide out. As soon as the needle made contact with the disc, I was immediately transported to a new sonic realm, without the use of any narcotic substances.

That first listen changed established my connection with The War On Drugs. It was kinda like that scene in Almost Famous when the protagonist spins The Who’s “Tommy” in his bedroom. I was mesmerized. Adam’s compositions was a sonic wash of haunting nostalgia that was both ambient yet present. Ten perfect songs, set in a perfect sequence, that was no frills, yet grand in scope- both melodically and lyrically. Needless to say, I have been waiting patiently for the past three years, and in Santa Monica, on a lovely Saturday evening, I had the chance to experience some of The War On Drugs new music live.

Over the course of the past couple months, the band has been releasing music from their forthcoming album for their fans to enjoy. Most recently, as of today (8/21/17) they released a fourth cut, “Pain”, on youtube:

“Pain” was the first song that they played for the performance taping. It set the unbelievably etherial mood for the  rest evening, and as Ganducial sings in his distinctly familiar voice, “I’ve been waiting, tired and lost, with the demon in the doorway waiting to be born,” it almost felt as he was singing about the album.

The War On Drugs @ KCRW'S Apogee Sessions 8/5/17. Setlist.As the music for the performance continued, the group played a solid 10 song set filled with both new cuts and old favorites. The performance was only briefly interrupted by an interview, moderated by Jason Bently, that delved not only into Adam’s songwriting and recording process but also a light hearted discussion of the album’s artwork. They faithfully covered Warren Zevon’s “Accidentally Like A Martyr”, which isn’t on the new album, but I’m sure fans wouldn’t mind if that was a hidden track.

I have little doubt that fans of The War On Drugs “Lost In A Dream” are on pins and needles for “A Deeper Understanding” to come out. For those who can’t wait until the 25th, make sure you tune into and/or log onto KCRW to stream The War On Drugs sublime performance. Since I’ve already seen it … I think I’ll wait to purchase the vinyl. Hopefully, there’s a limited edition version of it 😉

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