The War on Drugs | photo by Emmett Malloy | courtesy of the artist

The War On Drugs‘ newest release, A Deeper Understanding is a masterpiece of epic proportions. It’s possibly the most ambitious project of one of our favorite hometown bands – no song is shorter than four minutes, and all are packed with intricate and deliberate soundscapes, a perfect mixture of fast and slow, heavy and light. It’s the album we’ve been waiting for. The first single they released, “Thinking Of A Place,” clocks in at eleven minutes and still manages to leave the listener wanting more.

Last Friday, October 13th, The War On Drugs appeared on World Cafe, delivering a live performance of five of their songs, three from A Deeper Understanding, as well as covers of Bob Dylan’s “Simple Twist of Fate” and Warren Zevon’s “Accidentally Like a Martyr.” Lead singer and songwriter Adam Granduciel talks of the difference in process of putting this project together; he rented a studio space in LA for a year, and told host Talia Schlanger “For me this time around I was like ‘I just need a place I can go every day and work on this thing.'” This is an album filled with themes of searching and insecurity and overcoming. It’s a passion project for sure, and it leaves us nothing shy of impressed.

You can watch their performance of “Pain” in the World Cafe studio below, and listen to the entire session here, via NPR Music.

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