On November 20th, The War On Drugs will release their new album, LIVE DRUGS, via bandleader Adam Granduciel’s Super High-Quality Records. Today, they announce The Super High-Quality Podcast and present the album’s second single, “Accidentally Like a Martyr (Live).”
The Super High-Quality Podcast is a four-episode series, airing weekly beginning on the album’s release day. Throughout, guitar tech and band confidant Dominic East listens as the band talks casually about how they arrived at the performances and the decision to release their new live album. Listen to The Super High-Quality Podcast HERE.
Following lead single “Pain (Live),” “Accidentally Like a Martyr (Live)” is the band’s essential cover of Warren Zevon’s original – a song Granduciel describes as “so simple and true, you should ever be lucky to write a song that simple.” The War On Drugs’ cover captures the song’s original spirit and classic balladry with an emphasis on the swelling guitar and piano flourishes. Listen to the cover of “Accidentally Like A Martyr” BELOW:
LIVE DRUGS is sequenced to reflect how a typical 70-minute show would flow. It thrives on live set staples immortalized on record for the first time and illustrates how years of live performance nurtures an evolution of the songs. This includes “Buenos Aires Beach” from the band’s 2008 full-length debut, Wagonwheel Blues, and a cover of Warren Zevon’s “Accidentally like a Martyr.”
An early live version of A Deeper Understanding’s “Strangest Thing” feels joyfully loose; Granduciel fell in love with this version while going through the recordings with mental notes of memorable shows. On the last five minutes of the live favourite, “Under the Pressure,” a crowd of 20,000 people are heard singing along to the extended guitar melody. Or take “Eyes to the Wind,” the version heard here has grown wholly independent of the version found on Lost in the Dream.
“As a band leader, I always want to know where a song can go,” Granduciel explains. “Even though we’ve recorded it, mastered it, put it out, and been touring on it, it doesn’t mean that we just have to do it the same way forever.” And in that way, LIVE DRUGS is a freeing moment for the band. Now finally captured, these live iterations of the songs feel recontextualized, and subsequently less precious. “It feels like it’s kind of a reset, to be able to put something out that’s a really good interpretation of the way we interpret our music live. Even though this recording is from a year of tours, this is really how these six guys evolved as a band from 2014 to 2019.”
Over the last six months, The War On Drugs have been laying low -- working in the studio on a new album, remixing The Rolling Stones’ ‘Scarlett’, and recording exclusive performances for various non-profit groups, including Vote Ready for voter registration, Love From Philly benefitting Philadelphia’s arts community and Tzedek DC supporting legal rights of low-income DC residents.
LIVE DRUGS artwork and tracklist:
- An Ocean Between The Waves (Live)
- Pain (Live)
- Strangest Thing (Live)
- Red Eyes (Live)
- Thinking Of A Place (Live)
- Buenos Aires Beach (Live)
- Accidentally Like a Martyr (Live)
- Eyes to the Wind (Live)
- Under the Pressure (Live)
- In Reverse (Live)