Brutalism marks just the second album from The Drums since the band became the solo project of Jonny Pierce. Interestingly, the recording process found Pierce relinquishing much of the control he’d typically maintained on past efforts. He wrote and recorded the music between New York and Stinson Beach outside of San Francisco, sharing production duties and bringing in Chris Coady (Beach House, Future Islands) to mix it. For the first time, Pierce also worked with outside musicians, including The Drums’ first-ever in-studio live drummer.
Pierce’s decision to open up his work to others came as a byproduct of his renewed focus on self-care, a central theme of Brutalism. Having just come out of a divorce and struggling with a solo life in Los Angeles, Pierce found himself in a “downward spiral” of over-partying and exhaustion. Making the decision to focus on his mental health meant letting go of his usual “control freakery,” which allowed for deeper collaborations with others.
The resulting tracks are raw yet warm, as with lead single “Body Chemistry”. It sounds something like a beautiful panic, a pop song about realizing that you may not be able to resolve your flaws — and that’s okay. As Pierce explains in a press release,
“For the year prior to writing this song, I had been dealing with an increased feeling of depression. To counter that, I was doing all I could do to try and make myself feel good: implementing all sorts of self-care, going to therapy, eating well, exercising at the gym, taking a step back from partying, and focusing on positive relationships while weeding out the not-so-good ones. I still found myself weighed down with anxiety and depression. This song asks the question: Is this dull, sad feeling in my DNA? Is it part of my gene pool? Can it ever be corrected? I had been confronting some of my most stubborn demons, and I came to realize that confronting doesn’t always mean conquering.”
Update — Wednesday, April 24th: Watch the glitchy new video for “Body Chemistry”, directed by Anton Riva.
Brutalism is available for pre-order now. The artwork and tracklist are below.
01. Pretty Cloud
02. Body Chemistry
03. 626 Bedford Avenue
06. I Wanna Go Back
07. Kiss It Away
08. My Jasp
09. Blip Of Joy
Pierce will take The Drums out on the road for a spring tour supporting the release of Brutalism. The dates are below.
The Drums 2019 Tour Dates:
04/24 – Tustin, CA @ Marty’s On Newport
04/26 – El Paso, TX @ Lowbrow Palace
04/27 – San Antonio, TX @ Paper Tiger
04/29 – Omaha, NE @ The Waiting Room
04/30 – St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club
05/01 – Chicago, IL @ Metro
05/02 – Toronto, ON @ Phoenix Concert Theater
05/04 – Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
05/07 – New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
05/08 – Asbury Park, NJ @ Asbury Lanes
05/09 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Foundry at The Fillmore
05/10 – Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw
05/11 – Washington, D.C. @ The Black Cat
05/13 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
05/14 – Nashville, TN @ Exit/In
05/15 – Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West
05/16 – Orlando, FL @ The Beacham Theater
05/17 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ Revolution Live
05/18 – Tampa Bay, FL @ The Orpheum
05/20 – Pensacola, FL @ Vinyl Music Hall
05/21 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall (Downstairs)
05/22 – Dallas, TX @ Granada Theater
05/23 – Austin, TX @ Emo’s