Thursday, July 29, 2021

The War on Drugs has blown us away again with their new single ‘Living Proof’

The War on Drugs is arguably one of the most renowned alt-rock bands of the 21st century. 

Their album ‘A Deeper Understanding’ won the Grammy for Best Rock Album in 2017, so it is understandable that there is much excitement ahead of the release of their new album ‘I Don't Live Here Anymore’

The recent release of ‘Living Proof’ on July 19th has only fuelled the excitement.

If ‘Living Proof’ is actually living proof of what's to come, then we are in for a treat. It begins with a fresh new sound for the band, an acoustic ballad which is far softer than their classic rock sound. It left me feeling that ‘Living Proof’ was no random choice, but purposely chosen to prepare us for one of their best and most diverse sounding albums so far.


‘Living Proof’ takes you on a journey, exploring the feelings of unbearable sadness and wandering with no way to return home, all whilst telling their love that they are sorry. This song can’t help but get your heartstrings bleeding.


Adam Granduciel is truly a sculptor of sounds and feeling, and his mastery is evident in this new release. From its slow, melancholic beginning, the intro builds to a crescendo as an acoustic piano and electric guitar raise the anticipation before the vocals finally hit. The simple question, “Maybe I'm the living proof?” is left suspended in the air for a few seconds, bringing listeners in.


The soft piano base continues throughout the track, providing a cushion to the vocals. The lyrics are less sung but more spoken, using long pauses between lyrics to add to the intensity. There is a beautifully crafted symbiotic relationship between the three-syllable lines and three distinct piano beats that create a harmonious loop within the song.


The lyrics of ‘Living Proof’ highlight the band's craftsmanship. The use of simple and minimalistic lyrics like “I can’t go on” and “I am in Chicago” speak volumes without saying much, allowing the instruments to set the mood. 


The War on Drugs are one of those bands that were born into the wrong time; their music is simply timeless. ‘Living Proof’ is no exception, as when listening to it, you, like me, will be brought back to a time when rock and roll moved us to the point where nothing else mattered.

Zarina Dempsey


Image: ‘I Don't Live Here Anymore’ Official Album Cover (PRESS)

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