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The War on Drugs — Holding On
Album: A Deeper Understanding
Avg rating:
7.3

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1484









Released: 2017
Length: 5:38
Plays (last 30 days): 3
Once I was alive and I could feel
I was holding on to you
And I redefined the way I looked at dawn inside of you

I went down a crooked highway
I went all outside the line
I've been rejected, now the light has turned and I'm out of time

Ain't no way I'm gonna last
Hiding in the seams, I can't move the past
Feel like I'm about to crash
Riding on my line, keep keeping on

Once we were apart and I could see red
Never trying to turn back time
Never meant to bring my pain to the front and into your life

Now I'm headed down a different road
Can we walk it side by side?
Is an old memory just another way of saying goodbye?

Ain't no way I'm gonna last
Hiding in the seams, I can't move the past
Feel like I'm about to crash
Riding the same line, I keep keeping on

I ain't never going to change
He'll never get in line
I keep moving on the path, yeah
Holding on to mine

When you talk about the past
What are we talking of?
Did I let go too fast?
Was I holding on too long?

Ain't no truths from the past
As silent as the sea
Am I holding on too long?
But you're right in front of me

And I'm moving on a cast
Shadows on my seam
I keep moving to changes, yeah
Ooh

Heart or hope
Heart or hope
Heart or hope
Heart or hope
Comments (75)add comment
Love this band
When I first heard TWOD, I didn't like how deeply buried the vocals were in the mix.  Now, it's a key feature of the band for me.  Easy '9' rating. 
Thank you Bill. I didn't know this band before I listen RP for 2 years. Great
Just did it again.
Went to put a 10 on it and found I did last time. One of the best songs ever.
Same for me. The first 20 or 30 times I heard them I though it was just some run of the mill pop band. Not bad, but not special. Then I think it was "An Ocean Between The Waves" playing on RP one day and I got drawn into the guitar solo and all of sudden I realized that this is different. A genuinely unique sound that flows like a river with seemingly no effort.
To each their own, of course, but this group's music explores the essence of banality a bit too much. Ironic, with the album title on this one
 klaasstap wrote:


My idea of much of today's  pop is that it's about the sound, rather than the song. Crafty songwriting is not important. It's a 'refrain', or musical idea (not theoretical), with nothing much around it. Only then it will be able to hit the charts. Or did I just describe hit charts music of all times?
 
That's pretty much the definition of "pop", or "popular" music, that doesn't mean it cannot also be "crafty".  Music is primarily "about the sound", it always has been - it's an auditory form of communication - the song and the sound are inextricably tied to each other.  What's "around it" varies with the artists.  Obviously, a lot of hit records throughout history were essentially just gimmicks or trendy sounds though I don't think that's the case with this band.  I am not especially excited by this band's music - it often seems uniform and unvaried to me - but it is well-crafted and lyrically sound stuff.
 Rockit9 wrote:
Bob Dylan...sounds  a little    like
 

Sounds like Bryan Adams to me!
 klaasstap wrote:


My idea of much of today's  pop is that it's about the sound, rather than the song. Crafty songwriting is not important. It's a 'refrain', or musical idea (not theoretical), with nothing much around it. Only then it will be able to hit the charts. Or did I just describe hit charts music of all times?
 
Oh FFS, go listen to "Ticket for a Ride" by the Beatles or anything they did on their early albums, or damn near every group in the 50s-60s, then disco, then New Wave, then Hair Metal, etc. etc. Popular music is popular because it's simple and repetitive and easy to remember and sing along too. Nothing challenging becomes a pop hit. 
It's strange, I don't remember the singing sounding this nasal in the other TWOD song rotating on Radio Paradise (Red Eyes). Is it the same singer?
 jlind wrote:

What?! How is David Tennant associated with this act/track?
 
Only in my head, I'd expect. 
Same drum pattern and tempo as every other song they do, The Yawn On Drugs' knows how to deliver!
 Grayson wrote:
This song, in exactly the way David Tennant is so f*ckable no matter what media he's romping through, is always so danceable. 
 
What?! How is David Tennant associated with this act/track?
This song, in exactly the way David Tennant is so f*ckable no matter what media he's romping through, is always so danceable. 
So awful....
 dlirious wrote:
dylan meets springsteen...or vice versa
 
No, this stands alone.
Great tune. Even better ending!
dylan meets springsteen...or vice versa
 Piranga wrote:
I like their vibe, but every song is the same.
 

My idea of much of today's  pop is that it's about the sound, rather than the song. Crafty songwriting is not important. It's a 'refrain', or musical idea (not theoretical), with nothing much around it. Only then it will be able to hit the charts. Or did I just describe hit charts music of all times?
I'll agree with both sides: his voice reminds me of both Bryan Adams and Bob Dylan. It is an amazing combination, really. Glad this guy is finally getting the recognition that he deserves! :)
 arserocket wrote:
This tune gives me goosebumps like no other has done in a good long time ... it is stunning
 
Me too!!!!!!
I like their vibe, but every song is the same.
This tune gives me goosebumps like no other has done in a good long time ... it is stunning
Heard them first on Radio Paradise.  Was it 2015 or 2016?  And fell in love.  Shared them with all my friends.  And this year, by god they won a Grammy.  I thought they weren't known, now I know they are known, rightfully so.  Anyone who has seen them in concert are so damn lucky.  They came to Colorado in 2016 and I didn't go and I know, now, the seating will be next to impossible to get.  Oh, well!  Joy!  Joy to them and joy from them for the happiness they bring to my life.  Thanks RP:  Rebecca and Bill, for turning me on to this amazing band.
 VV wrote:

Perhaps a smidge. I would say Adams' voice has more grit/gravel to it though.
 
Love this whole album.
 
Adams' voice in his early act and with Sweeney Todd was really close to that. He only got the grit/gravel starting from the Cuts Like A Knife album. I can't help picturing him in my mind while I'm hearing this song.
Bob Dylan...sounds  a little    like
 guthrieandme wrote:

Ok, at least it's not just me... I hear Bryan Adams, too. 
 
Perhaps a smidge. I would say Adams' voice has more grit/gravel to it though.
 
Love this whole album.
 gratefulgator wrote:
Every time I hear this I think it's Bryan Adams... for whatever that's worth.

 
Ok, at least it's not just me... I hear Bryan Adams, too. 
The name is relevant to Adam Granduciel's personal war against substance abuse.  Which, apparently and to the benefit of his fans, he won.
 Proclivities wrote:

I hadn't thought much about it before, but have there been very many bands whose band names were relevant to their music?

 
The Eagles.  They produced copious amounts of poop.
 rpdevotee wrote:
Is this really the best name a band can come up with?  And how is this name relevant in any way to their music?
Proclivities wrote:

I hadn't thought much about it before, but have there been very many bands whose band names were relevant to their music?

 
I think you're right, Proc; most bands names don't seem to match the musical content of the band.  Although from the song lyrics, esp. on this 2017 effort, it does seem like Adam had some personal demons; might be that the music was his escape.  He refers to the serenity prayer in one, an old guy with a broken back and PAIN (hint?) - so this might actually be a guy trying to fight drug abuse.  Damn....now I really want to know what his impetus was for that name!!  Maybe after I get some work done this fine spring morning in Seattle.  ;-)

*EDIT*

Damn if Proc is right on - the band name appears to have come down to TWOD vs "The Rigatoni Danzas" (that is a funny name though, no?)

First, from Artistfacts, the story of the song "Pain"

Adam Granduciel was plagued for three or four years by a chronic back problem. It started out as a bulging disc, but gradually escalated from annoying too debilitating. By October 2016, when he was trying to complete A Deeper Understanding, the agony was unbearable.

"It was bad, bad, bad, bad, bad," he told Q Magazine. "I was in pain all the time. I couldn't sit in a chair for more than a couple of minutes. I couldn't stand and hold a guitar for more than a minute. I was 8 months into making the record and I had to get it fixed or I wouldn't have been able to get it done."

The War on Drugs frontman finally had surgery November 2016 and his ordeal inspired the song "Pain."

And as far as the band name goes, from our trusty research website (Wiki):

Regarding the band's name, Granduciel noted, "My friend Julian and I came up with it a few years ago over a couple bottles of red wine and a few typewriters when we were living in Oakland. We were writing a lot back then, working on a dictionary, and it just came out and we were like "hey, good band name" so eventually when I moved to Philadelphia and got a band together I used it. It was either that or The Rigatoni Danzas. I think we made the right choice. I always felt though that it was the kind of name I could record all sorts of different music under without any sort of predictability inherent in the name"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_War_on_Drugs_(band)

 

Not their best song but still a solid 8 for me. I can't think of any song from TWOD that I'd rate lower than 7.
LOVE THIS BAND! {#Bananajam}{#Dancingbanana_2}{#Dancingbanana}
 rpdevotee wrote:
Is this really the best name a band can come up with?  And how is this name relevant in any way to their music?
 
I hadn't thought much about it before, but have there been very many bands whose band names were relevant to their music?
 gratefulgator wrote:
Every time I hear this I think it's Bryan Adams... for whatever that's worth.

 
Yuck.  
I'd say there's more drive than you'd get with hypnotic music and that's what I like about it.
Diggin this band a lot lately, reminds me of the Waterboys, I like the way the songs kind of roll along almost hypnotically
Just changed from 9>10.  These guys really grow on ya.  Thanks RP

                                                        
                                                 ADAM GRANDUCIEL 
                                                   guitar - lead vocal


Every time I hear this I think it's Bryan Adams... for whatever that's worth.
 EchtNiet wrote:

Same here ;-)

 

 

Fantastic performance in Amsterdam Nov 1st : great show !


 rpdevotee wrote:
Is this really the best name a band can come up with?  And how is this name relevant in any way to their music?

 
From what I can tell, the name of the band is irrelevant to the music.  

If anything Adam Granduciel has won his own personal war on 'drugs'.   He quit them all.  

But given that the actual War on Drugs in North America is currently being rolled back, the timing is not bad.  
 rpdevotee wrote:
Is this really the best name a band can come up with?  And how is this name relevant in any way to their music?

 
You're overthinking this.


Is this really the best name a band can come up with?  And how is this name relevant in any way to their music?
just got tickets....
{#Bananajam}{#Bananapiano}{#Drummer}{#Guitarist}
{#Sunny} 
The current occupant denies it too. So do his Russian friends.
Aside from that, I quite like the tack.
 rpdevotee wrote:
I heard this band was started by Richard Nixon

 
He denied it.
I heard this band was started by Richard Nixon
 StillAwake wrote:
Another awesome track....The official video is sweet and fits the song perfectly.

 
Actually, this is my favourite version of the song (so far). 
Perfect flow, hauntingly beautiful, a great one yeah   {#Jump}  {#Jump}  {#Jump}
 westslope wrote:

Is this what synth-pop band Flock of Seagulls sounds like?  Interesting.

 
Wandering back through the comments for WoD "Red Eyes" it seems the comparison has been noted elsewhere too...
Another awesome track....The official video is sweet and fits the song perfectly.
 phlattop wrote:
Bill, please play some more tunes off this fine record. These guys make great driving music  (though it sounds great anywhere)

 
You're totally right! I listen to this band while i'm driving and it's so gooooood to drive with this music {#Motor} !
Bill, please play some more tunes off this fine record. These guys make great driving music  (though it sounds great anywhere)
 ploba wrote:
New album out today!!!  YAY!!!

 
Yeah.  Heard a good interview with Adam Granduciel today on NPR.

https://www.npr.org/2017/08/25/545814847/on-its-new-album-the-war-on-drugs-searches-for-a-deeper-understanding 
New album out today!!!  YAY!!!
 hayduke2 wrote:
great piece (I get a sort of Springsteen vibe, in a really good way : )

 
It vaguely reminds me of "Driver's Seat" by Sniff 'n' The Tears.  I'm not sure why, maybe just the overall production sound or the singer's voice and phrasing.  Cool song.
...and the hits just keep on coming'!
september 30 in austin at stubbs....can't wait. 
Everytime I hear a new tune from this band, the more and more I like them.  Can't help but hear Jude Cole in this guys voice, another amazing talent.
 walter_sintenie wrote:
{#Guitarist}Can't wait to see them live November 1st Amsterdam... !

 
Same here ;-)


{#Guitarist}Can't wait to see them live November 1st Amsterdam... !
Great song!  Cranked the stereo to 11 for this one.
 DaidyBoy wrote:
Didn't realise Bob had teamed up with Flock of Seagulls.  I'm looking forward to this album, too.

 
Is this what synth-pop band Flock of Seagulls sounds like?  Interesting.
Didn't realise Bob had teamed up with Flock of Seagulls.  I'm looking forward to this album, too.

 westslope wrote:
 lizardking wrote:

......

What I like best about TWOD is how similar the vocalization and lyrics/song structures are to (one of my all time favs) Bob Dylan; it's almost like BD were Forever Young and started a whole new career with a new band name!

.....



The best about TWOD is that the vocals sound a little like Bob Dylan but in actual fact Adam Granduciel can really sing.  That and the 'production values' are much, much better.

Note I say this as a big fan and admirer of Bob Dylan. 

Once again, looking forward to the new album/CD release.

 
I'm also looking forward to the coming new release, TWOD is neck & neck with Elbow and Spoon as my recent favorite groups.  And yes, I've been looking into Adam a bit and he's a freaking stud!  8 bumped up to a 9....Long Live RP!
great piece (I get a sort of Springsteen vibe, in a really good way : )
The unmistakable sound of......I like!
Whether driving or at my desk, I cannot sit still listening to this track. I f'ing love this band. 
 lizardking wrote:

......

What I like best about TWOD is how similar the vocalization and lyrics/song structures are to (one of my all time favs) Bob Dylan; it's almost like BD were Forever Young and started a whole new career with a new band name!

.....



The best about TWOD is that the vocals sound a little like Bob Dylan but in actual fact Adam Granduciel can really sing.  That and the 'production values' are much, much better.

Note I say this as a big fan and admirer of Bob Dylan. 

Once again, looking forward to the new album/CD release.
So this is the War on Drugs strip-tease?  One song at a time?  

Not just to be 1st to comment....I do want to say I've really enjoyed hearing some of The War on Drugs' music lately.  Another gem unearthed for me from listening to RP.  This track is a bit more upbeat than others, and at only 5:37 a bit shorter than others. 

What I like best about TWOD is how similar the vocalization and lyrics/song structures are to (one of my all time favs) Bob Dylan; it's almost like BD were Forever Young and started a whole new career with a new band name!

Long Live RP for ALL of the great music, old and new, familiar and not. 


Looking forward to hearing the entire album - August 25th!   Love this band!  {#Bananajam}