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The War On Drugs: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

In their Tiny Desk (home) concert, The War On Drugs gather in their packed studio in Burbank, CA to let us in on the fun and intricate inner workings of their craft. After opening the show with "I Don't Live Here Anymore," which shares the same title as their new album, frontman Adam Granduciel introduces the band and asks if anybody has a capo. Suddenly a very thoughtfully crafted tiny desk with drumsticks for legs (and topped with a tiny lamp too!) slowly lowers down into the space, delivering said capo. Granduciel smiles, and the group continues with three more tracks from the new record: "I Don't Wanna Wait," "Old Skin," and "Change."

Although the band's big sound is fit to fill an arena, we're lucky to get to hear it reverberating in this cozy setting. The War On Drugs' fifth album, released Oct. 29, presents new songs that feel familiar and true to their sound. Originally based in Philadelphia, PA, the band's members are now spread out across the country, but they came together to jam, demo, and ultimately record this album as a kindred unit.

The new songs are about reconnection, change, and uncertainty. This line from the title track resonates with me in the context of the daily unknown the pandemic has brought: "Time surrounds me like an ocean / My memories like waves / Is life just dying in slow motion / Or getting stronger everyday." There's beautiful tension and a lot of joy in these classic ballads.


  • "I Don't Live Here Anymore"
  • "I Don't Wanna Wait"
  • "Old Skin"
  • "Change"

  • Adam Granduciel: vocals, guitar
  • Dave Hartley: bass, backing vocals
  • Charlie Hall: drums
  • Anthony LaMarca: guitar, backing vocals
  • Robbie Bennett: keyboards
  • Jon Natchez: saxaphone, keyboards

  • Video: Cody William Smith, Danny Garfield
  • Audio: Austin Asvanonda
  • Director: Cody William Smith
  • Editor: Danny Garfield
  • Audio Mixing: Austin Asvanonda
  • Camera Operators: Paolo Arriola and Keith Pratt
  • Gaffer: Christopher Oh

  • Producer: Maia Stern
  • Video Producer: Maia Stern
  • Audio Mastering: Josh Rogosin
  • Tiny Production Team: Bob Boilen, Bobby Carter, Kara Frame, Sofie Hernandez-Simeonidis
  • Executive Producer: Keith Jenkins
  • Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann
  • Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Maia Stern is a video producer at NPR Music. She primarily produces Tiny Desk concerts.
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