The War on Drugs’ fourth album A Deeper Understanding is due for release in late August and it’s not a second too soon. The newest cut is called ‘Strangest Thing’ and it’s the beguiling stoner rock you’ve been waiting for all summer, and will be listening to for the rest of the summer. The War on Drugs haven’t lost their signature croon.
At a lengthy seven minutes ‘Strangest Thing’ runs the risk of being overly lavish with too many bells and whistles or being too drawn out and self-indulgent with the big licks to show for it but somehow, it feels just right. Starting out as an understated borderline folk song, it swirls and grows into a bigger beast entirely by the chorus. The verse has a longing vocal that’s embellished with the odd twang of guitar and chord of piano.
A gentle synth over the strum of guitar at the two and a half minute mark lightens the song up, only for Adam Granduciel’s vocals to come back in and darken it. There’s an incredible texture as the song builds, the depth and richness of sound making Strangest Thing ambitious and cinematic. The track fades just as quickly as it came, the last chord of guitar ringing out. Cleverly the song fits itself into a perfect loop for endless listening, and at seven minutes it still begs for another spin every time it finishes.
The accompanying video is a simple one of frontman Adam Granduciel having a walk about outside what appears to be an old factory. Regardless of it’s simplicity it’s shot on 8mm and it looks lovely with the sunset around him, very rose tinted glasses.
Go check out ‘Strangest Thing’ on spotify here and keep an eye out for A Deeper Understanding on 21st August.