The War on Drugs’ frontman Adam Granduciel must have a thing for 1980s-era Bruce Springsteen. The band’s fifth LP I Don’t Live Here Anymore, effectively melds the grandiose Heartland Rock of Born in the U.S.A. with the melancholic introspection of Tunnel of Love, yielding the Philly-bred sextet’s most accessible record yet.
Of course, Granduciel, who relocated to Los Angeles a few years back, has long revelled in the sounds of dreamy, ’80s-lacquered Psych Pop. “Burning,” from the band’s breakthrough third record, 2014’s Lost in the Dream, recalls an unlikely mix of The Cure and Tom Petty doing a cover of Rod Stewart’s “Young Turks.” 2017’s A Deeper Understanding moved into a jammier, more cinematic realm — clocking in at 66 minutes, it’s awash in atmospheric synths, propulsive rhythms and Granduciel’s trademark searching guitar lines and modest, Dylan-esque vocals.
“On the early albums, I definitely wasn’t confident as a writer or a singer,” Granduciel said in a conversation with Interview Magazine last November.
“I saw vocals as an accompaniment to the music I was making with my friends. I just wanted to have fun and make art. This is our fifth record, and I’m by no means a master of the craft — writing songs and producing music still doesn’t come easy — but there’s more to sing about. There’s actually something to feel, that I can attempt to translate into music. I don’t think I went into this record focused on that, but I think that’s what drew me to the songs that I ended up choosing.”
The War on Drugs plays PromoWest Pavilion at OVATION (101 W. Fourth St., Newport) on Sunday, Feb. 6. Doors open at 7 p.m.
All attendees must show proof of either full vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative COVID test taken within the previous 72 hours.
Tickets and more info: promowestlive.com.