Eyes to the Wind (2014) – The War on Drugs

Three songs will appear here from the superb album – Lost in the Dream by The War on Drugs starting with today’s track Eyes to the Wind. This is an epic Americana folk-rock song and my favourite from the record. The production and meshing of sounds; the momentum it builds; and the lyrics conjure in my mind atmospheric Americana images of breezy air, terrain, culture and music history – all intertwined. It’s just an amazing musical accomplishment by this group and definitely a Desert Island keeper.

I was sailin’ down here on the wind
When I met you and I fell away again
Like a train in reverse down a dark road
Carrying the whole load just rattling the whole way home

Have you fixed your eyes to the wind?
Will you let it pull you in again on the way back in?
I’m a bit run down here at the moment
Let me think about it, babe
Let me hold you

The recording of this album Lost in The Dream took over 2 years, but this song was written by frontman Granduciel apparently in four minutes in his kitchen. According to wikipedia: Musically, the record was inspired by 1980s rock, as well as Americana, with influences including Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and Neil Young & Crazy Horse.
The album appeared in a number of best album lists in 2014 and received universal acclaim. Based on 139 year-end top ten lists compiled by Metacritic, Lost in the Dream was the most critically acclaimed album of 2014.

Amy Klein wrote in her article at talkhouse.com: My favourite song on the album, “Eyes to the Wind,” takes place in daylight, though. It’s the turning point, the moment on the album where the clouds lift, the atmosphere drops away and Granduciel speaks to us at his most direct. The vocals are perfectly clear, with no separation between intent and effect; the production cedes control to the songwriting, which is not literal but wide open — airy, free. Granduciel’s guitar recedes, making room for a pristine piano way up high in the mix. The part is simple but memorable; there are no extraneous notes. Only at the end does Granduciel allow himself a little solo, which quickly gives way to a sincere deployment of saxophone. It’s an exercise in maturity and restraint — at the end of ambition, a pale blue summer sky.

“The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.”- Michel Legrand

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Posted in Music
5 comments on “Eyes to the Wind (2014) – The War on Drugs
  1. I thought there was a big Bob Dylan influence here. Indeed an intertwining of breezy air, terrain, culture and music history!

  2. I can’t disagree with you there Bruce about the Bob influence. Thanks for commenting and I hope this message finds you with peace, love and tranquillity.

  3. The War on Drugs are without question one of the finest bands making music today. I first learned about them at the end of 2014 when I saw this album on every year-end list, and their song “Red Eyes” on multiple best songs of 2014 lists. I was instantly blown away by their gorgeous music, and have been a big fan ever since. I think my favorite song of theirs is “Pain” from ‘A Deeper Understanding’. I get a big lump in my throat every time I hear it, awestruck that someone is capable of writing such stunning and impactful music.

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