I listen with laid-back comfort and eyes closed to “Thinking of a Place” from the War on Drugs’ new album, A Deeper Understanding, and I can see the black top highway before a set of headlights illuminating the way. Windows rolled down, the air is crisp and I feel like I’m 28 years old, again, as my truck hugs the cliffs of Highway 30, or the Pali, on my way home to Lahaina. Of course, I have abandoned myself again to heartache, hope, and the yearning of a warm embrace to appease my hungry heart and feed its poetic drive. The wind is clean, a refreshing smell without smell, and my frenetic mind switches tracks to God and the beauty of Nature. I feel invincible with the freedom, truth, knowledge, and peace it brings to mind.
And, so it is with nearly any tune from Adam Granduciel and his band. I have that vision not specifically because of the track title to this chosen song but, because the road trips, real and imaginary, create fertile ground for the mind to seed itself with any idea, thought, fear, or hope. It was “Baby Missiles” from their 2011 album, Slave Ambient, that first set me on an imaginary trek between the past and future self, and I recognized instantly there could be more ground ahead to cover with such illustrious and liberating music. This was my kind of music, hands down, I said to myself! There were intermittent tunes like this on that album but with Understanding the feeling and aura is in full effect.
Pack a bag, sample their music, and enjoy the undeniable freedom of your own highway.