Emerging from Brooklyn via Florida in 2009, The Drums initially caught the ear of the indie world with their Summertime! EP. It was an escapist collection of beach pop fantasies; tracks suffused with a wistful, longing nostalgia that never pandered to cheap sentimentality. Their rise, particularly in the UK, was meteoric. Early buzz led to a prestigious spot on the BBC Sound of 2010 shortlist, followed in short succession by a slot on the Shockwaves NME Tour in 2009, and the publication’s Phillip Hall Radar Award in early 2010, well before the album's release that summer.
Their terrific self-titled debut LP, released in June, was bifurcated into a first half dedicated to more upbeat pop songs, and a second half revealing a darker, more introspective side of the band. A resounding success, the album has sold 200,000 copies globally to date (90,000 in the UK alone) and found the band touring relentlessly, playing triumphant sold out gigs worldwide throughout 2010 and 2011, including a 6 week tour of the USA and shows in Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Germany, France, Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Mexico and Indonesia, as well as a sold out UK tour, culminating in two nights headlining the London Forum.
For the often difficult sophomore LP, the band sidestepped the pitfalls of a slump by recording it quickly, again self producing, often laying down tracks spontaneously in singer Jonny Pierce’s kitchen. Following the departure of guitarist Adam Kessler, drummer Connor Hanwick switched to guitar, and guitarist Jacob Graham picked up his more natural instrument of synthesizers. Titled Portamento, the new album, released just 14 months after their debut, reveals a band tugging lightly at the boundaries of their sound while still retaining their recognizable sonic signatures—sweet rushes of melody, winsome lyrics, and brittle synthesizer sheens colliding with wiry Spector-esque guitar and bass lines. Pierce's lyrics have also assumed a more starkly intimate, personal tone.