The Drums - Portamento (CD)
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Emerging from Brooklyn via Florida in 2009, The Drums initially caught the ear of the indie world with their Summertime! EP. It was an escapist collection of beach pop fantasies; tracks suffused with a wistful, longing nostalgia that never pandered to cheap sentimentality. Their terrific self-titled debut LP, was bifurcated into a first half dedicated to more upbeat pop songs, and a second half revealing a darker, more introspective side of the band. For the often difficult sophomore LP, the band sidestepped the pitfalls of a slump by recording it quickly, again self-producing, often laying down tracks spontaneously in singer Jonny Pierce's kitchen. Following the departure of guitarist Adam Kessler, drummer Connor Hanwick switched to guitar, and guitarist Jacob Graham picked up his more natural instrument of synthesizers. Portamento, the new album, follows their debut by a mere 14 months and reveals a band tugging lightly at the boundaries of their sound while still retaining their sonic signatures – sweet rushes of melody, winsome lyrics, and brittle synthesizer sheens colliding with wiry Spector-esque guitar and bass lines.
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