It was perhaps inevitable that The War On Drugs would begin to distance themselves from their once-voguish brand of post-Chillwave Springsteen. ‘Lost In The Dream’’s lead single, ‘Red Eyes’, doesn’t so much emerge out of the bedroomy fog of second album ‘Slave Ambient’ as burn it off in the midday sun of the American midwest; singer Adam Granduciel’s vocals dominate a robust rock arrangement, the motorik-haunted stoicism of the group’s past music dispelled in a burst of compact hooks and visceral gear changes. Just plain-old Springsteen then, or it would be were the political urgency of trad-Heartland rock not eschewed in favour of ambiguity.

Throughout, Granduciel’s lyrics construct wisdom from evocative incomprehensibility, and when grand themes do surface, they’re cast as distant abstractions: “Will you be here, suffering?”, he croons. But if that all seems a little evasive, it’s only because The War On Drugs are aiming for something altogether loftier: ‘Lost In The Dream’ embodies a big-hearted Americana, one that trades the knotted complexity of the quotidian for a wistful, widescreen beauty.


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