Three years after the release of their third record, The Drums long-awaited fourth album Abysmal Thoughts is out today on ANTI-.

Across a year and three months of home recording between Los Angeles and his cabin in upstate New York—with the same guitar, synthesiser, drum machine and reverb unit he’s played since the beginning of The Drums—Pierce put together Abysmal Thoughts. With help from engineer Jonathan Schenke (Parquet Courts, Mannequin Pussy and more), the result is an unflinching autobiography with Pierce back in full control of the band. He’s back to not just writing all the songs by himself but playing every instrument, too, this time realising exactly his own personal vision for the band. Not coincidentally, it’s some of the most revelatory work he’s ever done. It is a vivid self-portrait, alive with the hyperdramatic emotional potency of the Smiths, the arch literary pop moves of New Zealanders like the Verlaines and the Clean, and the riotous clatter-punk power of the UK DIY bands of 1979.

As the last album cycle for The Drums finished and his long-term relationship with his former partner dissolved, Pierce took some time away from music altogether in hopes to reconnect with himself and find future inspiration. Determined to make a change, he ended up leaving his longtime home in New York and found himself isolated in a large empty apartment in Los Angeles, all his plans for life and love suddenly in shambles. That hardship and confusion—and the clarity of personality and purpose it inspired—became Abysmal Thoughts.

With The Drums’ new record, band founder Jonny Pierce is making the exact album he’s always held in his heart. Of course, this is The Drums, so that heart is broken—but there’s beauty and even bliss in this kind of heartbreak. “I said I wanted to let life happen?” he says. “Well, the universe listened and life began to fuck me real good! But honestly, I make the worst art when I’m comfortable. The stuff that resonates with me the longest—and that resonates with others—is always the stuff that comes out of my misery.”

Now the highs are higher than ever, and the lows absolutely bottomless. The Drums are back, and while there’s a heavy sadness here, Pierce is stronger for fighting through it. “Happiness can be confusing to me,” says Pierce. “It shows up out of nowhere, and before you can even get used to it, it’s vanished. But Abysmal Thoughts? I can rely on them—and with the political chaos that is raining down, who knows when these dark feelings will subside?” 

Buy your copy of Abysmal Thoughts here.

The Drums - Abysmal Thoughts

ABYSMAL THOUGHTS TRACK LISTING:

01. Mirror
02. I’ll Fight For Your Life
03. Blood Under My Belt
04. Heart Basel
05. Shoot The Sun Down
06. Head Of The Horse
07. Under The Ice
08. Are U Fucked
09. Your Tenderness
10. Rich Kids
11. If All We Share (Means Nothing)
12. Abysmal Thoughts