// THE DRUMS //
With The Drums’ new ‘Abysmal Thoughts,’ band founder Jonny Pierce is making the exact album he’s always held in his heart. Of course, this is The Drums, so that heart is broken — but there’s beauty and even bliss in this kind of heartbreak, as well as that special kind of glorious delirium that comes from taking everything life can throw at you and still walking away triumphant. If ‘Abysmal Thoughts’ doesn’t sound at all abysmal — really, Pierce has rarely been this irresistibly pop — that’s because this is a story about how to figure out what happiness means once the worst has already happened. “Happiness can be confusing to me,” says Pierce. “It shows up out of nowhere, and before you can even get used to it, it’s vanished. But ‘Abysmal Thoughts?’ I can rely on them — and with the political chaos that is raining down, who knows when these dark feelings will subside?”
Now the highs are higher than ever, and the lows absolutely bottomless, and it’s the last song — the title track — that makes everything clear. The Drums are back, and while there’s a heavy sadness here, Pierce is stronger for fighting through it
// HOOPS //
Hoops thrive in the in-between. The Indiana quartet craft hyper-melodic songs, built around power-pop chords, deceptively complex drum patterns, and rock-anthem sentiments that hide some tellingly dark thoughts. Their full-length debut, Routines, sounds both warmly familiar and jarringly distinctive. A kernel of ache lies at the heart of each verse and chorus: nothing cynical or pessimistic, just bittersweet and honest.
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