Lost In The Dream is the third album by Philadelphia band The War on Drugs, but in many ways, it feels like the first.
Around the release of the 2011 breakthrough Slave Ambient, Adam Granduciel spent the bulk of two years on the road, touring through progressively larger rock clubs, festival stages and late-night television slots. As these dozen songs shifted and grew beyond what they’d been in the studio, The War on Drugs became a bona fide rock ’n’ roll band.
Only after eight months bouncing between a half-dozen different studios that stretched from the mountains of North Carolina to the boroughs of New York City, did Granduciel—the proudly self-professed gearhead, and unrepentant perfectionist—add and subtract, invite guests and retrofit pieces. He sculpted these songs into a musical rescue mission, through and then beyond personal despair and anxiety. Lost In The Dream represents the trials of the trip and the triumphs of its destination.
As such, these tunes reveal a careful and thrilling reinvention of the sound that’s become The War on Drugs’ trademark. The signature meld of long tones and scattershot layers still stands, with phantom drum machines and organ lines dotting the musical middle distance all across Lost In The Dream. Note the way the keys whisper against the guitar’s growl as the tempestuous 'An Ocean in Between the Waves' approaches pentecostal heat.
This is Granduciel’s to-date triumph and the exact moment where Lost In The Dream moves from a tale of confusion to one of resolve. Anguish sublimates into deliverance. Backed by his bros, Granduciel becomes a preacher in a new pulpit.
The War on Drugs recently unveiled a video for 'Under The Pressure', the majestic opening track from Lost In The Dream. The sweeping video presents aesthetics the ‘Drugs have become known for throughout their career revealing both a broad and intimate look at a band.
Critical acclaim for Lost In The Dream, out now on Secretly Canadian:
‘One of 2014’s truly great records… The perfect Americana road trip.’ NME – 9/10
‘A sublime journey… Its no small feat to make rock music sound this fresh nowadays. Amid the hordes of bands pulling the same old tired moves, thanks God for The War On Drugs.' Time Out – 5 Stars *****
‘A huge triumph… Widescreen, exhilarating, Springsteen-esque rock ’n’ roll… It’s clear that this is the band’s breakthrough moment.’ Evening Standard – 5 Stars *****