Abysmal Thoughts

Abysmal Thoughts

by The DrumsThe Drums


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The Drums' fourth album Abysmal Thoughts -- yes, the quotes are part of the title -- came out of a difficult time for frontman Jonny Pierce. Not only did his marriage end, the group's other founding member, longtime friend Jacob Graham, left to focus on his other project, Sound of Ceres. These crises gave Pierce the opportunity to regroup, or more accurately, ungroup: He wrote and played all of Abysmal Thoughts by himself (the album was engineered by Eaters' Jonathan Schenke). Working in solitude seems to have helped Pierce streamline his music, especially in comparison to 2014's sprawling, uneven Encyclopedia; on Abysmal Thoughts, he channels his despair into deceptively simple indie pop songs with cheery facades that could shatter at any moment. "If you should see me now, you should know that I'm trying not to cry," Pierce sings on the giddy "Under the Ice," while "Mirror" exalts self-loathing, doubt, and heartache to their necessary levels of drama. As Pierce ratchets up the intensity, he also strips away the preciousness. As the sneaker-sniffing cover image suggests, this is a blunter, weirder version of the Drums, whether Pierce is calling his ex a "beautiful idiot" on "I'll Fight for Your Life" or wearing a former flame's T-shirt on "Blood Under My Belt." Throughout Abysmal Thoughts, he teeters on the edge of obsession, hiding under a blanket on "Shoot the Sun Down," while guitars circle like memories that won't leave on "Head of the Horse." As grim as things get, "Abysmal Thoughts" doesn't do away with the Drums' lightheartedness entirely; Pierce even sings the chorus of the title track with a mix of fear and fondness. Likewise, "Heart Basel"'s title is cutesy, but its tale of hearts softening -- and hardening -- in different locales feels genuine. Abysmal Thoughts' breezy music and direct words are an arresting mix, and as Pierce stakes his claim as a 21st century master of melodrama, he delivers the purest version of his music yet.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/16/2017
Label: Anti
UPC: 0045778752324
catalogNumber: 87523
Rank: 66872

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Drums   Primary Artist
Danny Allen   Drums
Jonathan Schenke   Sounds
Ian Young   Trumpet,Saxophone
Carter Yasutake   Trumpet
Jacob Graham   Synthesizer,Guitar
Travis Rosenberg   Lap Steel Guitar
Jonny Pierce   Bass,Guitar,Keyboards,Tambourine,Vocals,Hand Clapping,Sampling,Shaker,cowbell,Wood Block
Brad Oberhofer   Keyboards
Ioanna Gika   Vocals,Background Vocals
Johnny Aries   Bass,Guitar,Bass Guitar,Mellotron,Electric Harp
Carter Yas Kate   Saxophone

Technical Credits

Patrick Daniel   Inside Photo
Trevor Hernandez   Art Direction
Jonathan Schenke   Engineer
Jonny Pierce   drum machine,Art Direction,Cover Photo,Whistle
Keon Smith   Art Direction,Cover Art

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