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by The Drums

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The Drums released the critically acclaimed “Abysmal Thoughts” in 2017, marking the band’s first release as a solo project from Jonny Pierce.

Now, two years later, The Drums announces its tremendous, self-care focused fifth LP and a North American tour in support of the album. Quite possibly the best collection of songs in the band's ten-year career, Brutalism, co-produced by Pierce, will be released on April 5th via ANTI-.

Like Jonny Pierce, Brutalism is a bicoastal record - written and recorded between Upstate New York and a studio in Stinson Beach. Following a painful divorce and an incredibly difficult stint living solely in Los Angeles, Pierce decided it was time to face his demons, and the making of this record is a part of that process. “I was exhausted, depleted and sabotaging myself, partying so much but in reality running away from pain. It was a downward spiral.” Pierce knew it was time to go to therapy, and begin to reckon with his depression. “It was do or die,” he says. While he focused on his mental health, the making of Brutalism became an extension of self-care for Pierce, and makes for some of his most honest and relatable music to date.

On Brutalism, a lot is different. The album is defined by growth, transformation and questions, but it doesn't provide all the answers. It’s rooted in an emotional rawness, but its layers are soft, intricate and warm, full of exquisitely crafted pop songs that blast sunlight and high energy in the face of anxiety, solitude and crippling self-doubt.  Pierce's decision to prioritize his own health and wellbeing clearly bled into how he crafted this record. He was more open than ever, keeping his control freakery at bay, working with others to produce and record the album. He brought in Chris Coady (Beach House, Future Islands, Amen Dunes) to mix it.  If there was a guitar part he wanted to write but couldn't play, he brought in a guitarist. It's also the first Drums record with a live drummer. Delegating freed up Pierce's time to produce a more specific vision.

Brutalism is truly pop at its core, with thoroughly modern production and Pierce’s newfound tenderness. Back in The Drums' previous iterations, the pressure was on Pierce to maintain the innocent and nostalgic sound of this surf-pop indie band and it didn't allow him to explore sex, drug use, darker emotions or how he felt currently. “Abysmal Thoughts” was the first occasion he had chance to do that. Lyrically Brutalism is another giant step in that direction, and is defined by vulnerability. That's why you can dance to Brutalism, you can cry to Brutalism, and you can laugh to it too.

The past year has been transformative Pierce, who may a permanent rain cloud above his head but is working towards a better, healthier headspace. “I don't think I'll ever really find myself,” he says. “I don't think people do. I don't think there's a day that you wake up and you go, Now I know who I am. The best way for me to be an artist is by taking a goddamn minute, being still and listening to what it is that I want and need.” It was a real year of growth for him, but growth towards what? “I don't really know, and that's OK.”


released April 5, 2019

Thanks to Bob Dunn, Antoine Dykmans, Andy Kaulkin and everyone at Anti Records, Ethan Berlin, Mike and Bryan at Parr 3, Brian McPherson, Jaclyn Ullman, Chris Coady, Sonny Diperri, Tom Haslow, Johnny Aires, Andrew Mishko, Abel Coss, LA Voices Children's Choir, Karen Arechiga, Liam Benzvi

Produced by Jonny Pierce, Bryan De Leon, and Sonny DiPerri
Engineered by Sonny DiPerri
Mixed by Chis Coady at Sunset Sound
Mix Asst by Matthew Neighbor
Mastered by Michelle Mancini, Demifugue at Larrabee Sound Studios

Cover and back cover photo by Nicolas Moore
Ar Direction: Jonny Pierce
Art Layout: Jonny Pierce and Abel Coss
Additional Layout: Trevor Hernandez


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The Drums New York, New York


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Track Name: Pretty Cloud
My pretty cloud in the sky
I’m watching you from afar
Sometimes you float up and
Grace me with sun
And sometimes you come very close
And multiply yourself
Heavy and thick raining sorrow on me

Still I am blissful
In whatever you give me
I lean on the mystery of
Who you are
Still I am blissful in
Whatever you show me
A real curiosity of
Who you are

Sensitive to temperature
Sensitive to moisture
Sensitive to winds
That always come
And there are days where
You spread yourself so thin
Across the atmosphere that
I can’t see you anymore
Track Name: Body Chemistry
Change my life
Everyone is telling me
To change my life
Maybe I’m depressed
Or maybe I know too much
About the world, about myself

I know some good luck
And a good fuck
A nice glass of wine
And some quality time
Is gonna make you mine
But it’s not what I’m trying to find
I know some good luck
And a good fuck
A nice glass of wine
And some quality time
Is gonna make you mine
And it’s find, and it’s fine, and it’s fine
Is my chemistry not forgiving me?
Body chemistry
Track Name: 626 Bedford Avenue
626 Bedford Avenue I think I regret
That night of kissing you
Baby, let’s have a conversation
And god forbid we have a connection
I’d like to know what you’re thinking
Cuz I don’t get what I’ve been given

626 Bedford Avenue
I think I regret that night of kissing you
I should have left when you laughed at my
(I keep on coming back)
626 stupid avenue
Don’t make me regret that night of kissing you
I fell in love and you treated me like shit
(I keep on coming back)

I don’t think you’re ready
But I don’t’ think you can forget me
Your insecurities are ruining everything that we
Could be. Get your head out of your ass
And take a good look at yourself
But I keep on coming back, but I keep on coming back
You might be a psychopath, you might wanna check that.
Track Name: Brutalism
Baby right now you must know
That this love is brutal
Beyond physical, supernatural
And fully irrational
I’m no stranger to taking risk
I bet my life on one kiss
I know this is dangerous
We’re delirious, but oh this is glorious

When I’m alone at night and the TV is on
I grab your t-shirt and put it over my face
I put my hand on my chest so it feels
Like you’re here. And I’d fly 10,000 miles
Just to kiss you again.
Our love is heavy and hard
Desire might be the thing that tears us apart
And when my heart is tired
And I can’t take anymore
I just remember your eyes in the corridor
Your eyes in the corridor
Track Name: Loner
Hey you with that perfect face
I’m sure it’s a game I should play
Do you have something good to say
Cuz I’ve got 300 elephants shitting on my grave
What fun when there’s nothing to do
You said you could cum and I said I could too
I wish there was more between me and you
I want love (x2)

And I don’t want to be alone
And I am scared of all the people in the world
And I have never had a home
I am too afraid so I keep moving through
The world. I keep moving through the world.

Change me. Some will change me
Well trust me baby, the shit comes back
Self sabotage or is my life on pause?
Am I inventing flaws? The shit comes back

I would like to find a place (S-E-N-E-C-A)
Where maybe I could find some peace (S-E-N-E-C-A)
Even if I changed my name (S-E-N-E-C-A)
Different player, same old game.
Track Name: I Wanna Go Back
I wanna go back to it
I wanna backtrack to it
And if there’s a path to it
I have to forget what you did

Tell me that you’re sorry and I promise to try to forget
Tell me you still want me
And maybe I could be a little less sensitive

If you could acknowledge that you left me here
Guarding the door. And hold me like you used to
Then maybe I could feel less insecure

Do you even bother to understand how I might feel
How do I make sense of
What feels like we’re pretending and what feels real
Track Name: Kiss It Away
I’m not embarrassed to admit that
I need your physicality
Every human becomes weak.

Touch me where I’m hurting
Hold me when I don’t belong
Kiss away my confusion
Kiss it away
Kiss it away
Kiss it away
Kiss it away

You have my permission to do
All that you want to do
Come destroy my fragility

This tall sadness so goddamn stubborn
I can’t take it anymore
You’re body – so shocking
Lay me down on the floor
On the floor
On the floor
Track Name: Nervous
Two nights ago, we said goodbye
In a borrowed car in the Hollywood Hills
I held you but I should’ve held you
Tighter and longer
Two years of laughter and one year of pain
Come crashing to a halt to its final
Resting place

You came over today to a house full of our things
And You were holding your coat – you didn’t know
where to put it down
And you couldn’t look me in the eyes –
They were darting all around
And being nervous around you – oh that’s
Something new that’s something new
Then you put down your coat and you start
To walk towards me and I don’t know
What it means. But this time I’m gonna
Hold you a little tighter and a little longer
Track Name: Blip of Joy
Oh let me sink into this blip of joy
I can’t believe this is happening to me
It took so long to reach this mountaintop
With just one kiss I forget I hate myself

Its just a little blip of joy
Can I feel it again
Its just a little blip of joy!

Surviving off this moment! so close to you
The grass is wet and for once the my heart
Is free.
I’m scared to ask what you’re middle
Name is cuz that might be going to far
Gotta let this remain mysterious cuz
You’re a wild girl – and I know you’re gonna fly far…
And I’ll never see you again…
And tonight my heart is singing…
Its singing!

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