Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased tracks, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Come to the City” by The War on Drugs from the 2011 album Slave Ambient on Secretly Canadian.
There are the obvious puns about certain government hang-ups, but The War on Drugs as a band is actually going somewhere. With four EPs down, Slave Ambient is the first full-length in four years, and the first since a serious change-up of band members. The consistent backbone has always been Adam Granduciel. Granduciel moved from Oakland, CA, to Philadelphia, PA, and founded The War on Drugs with Kurt Vile in 2005. With several lineup changes, and Vile focusing on his solo career, The War on Drugs is now Granduceil with multi-instrumentalists Dave Hartley and Robbie Bennett, and drummer Mike Zanghi turning out a fantastic follow up to 2008’s Wagonwheel Blues.
Slave Ambient has been a long time in the making. Four quiet years aside, each song went through several transformations before Granduceil hit the record button, and the result is like a well edited marriage between My Bloody Valentine and Tom Petty. “Come to the City” is deeply textured, and charged with a pulsing energy that doesn’t quite peak, modernizing Granuciel’s classic songwriting and Americana-inspired vocals.
Granduciel is doing a juggling act playing in Vile’s band, The Violators, and touring in support of the upcoming Slave Ambient, but we’ll have The War on Drugs in the Seattle area on October 26 at the Tractor Tavern. You can find other dates and places on their website and MySpace page. For now, check out the official video for “Come to the City”: