The Drums

US indie surf-pop

Wednesday 30th May 2012

Dot to Dot 2012's Headlining act, The Drums, need little introduction, having made the indie scene their own on both sides of the Atlantinc in just over a year from the release of their first EP to the acclaimed release of their second album "Portamento".

Emerging from New York but originating from Florida in 2009, The Drums initially caught the ear of the indie world with their "Summertime! EP". A collection of beach pop inspired tracks infused with a, longing nostalgia, simultaneously drawing on Factory Records and 1950s Rock n roll as key influences, whilst avoiding sentimentality. Their rise to prominence, particularly in the UK, was meteoric and well deserved.

Their self-titled debut LP, was split into a first half dedicated to their upbeat pop songs, the second half revealing a darker, more introspective side of the band. The album has sold 200,000 copies globally to date (90,000 in the UK alone) and found the band touring relentlessly, playing sold out gigs worldwide throughout 2010 and 2011, including a 6 week tour of the USA and shows in Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Germany, France, Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Mexico and Indonesia, as well as a sold out UK tour, culminating in two nights headlining the London Forum.

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. Titled "Portamento", the new album, released just 14 months after their debut, reveals a band tugging lightly at the boundaries of their sound while still retaining their recognizable sonic signatures—sweet rushes of melody, winsome lyrics, and brittle synthesizer juxtaposed with Spector-esque guitar and bass lines. Pierce’s lyrics have also assumed a more starkly intimate, personal tone, evinced from the outset on opener “Book of Revelations,” with its brazen examination of religion, through the bittersweet closing love song “How It Ended.”

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