When we interviewed The War on Drugs about their heady, gorgeous ramble of an album, Slave Ambient, earlier this summer, frontman Adam Granduciel described the four-year recording process as an intense, obsessive exploration of sound. He told us about layers and layers of guitar parts, listening to no other music except for what he had made, building songs out of patchwork experiments in ambience and tracks that had 15 versions to them before they went to press. “Finishing it was pretty daunting at times,” he said.
But now, after a slew of almost unanimously positive reviews and a Pitchfork-certified “Best New Music” title to boot, we were stoked to hear that Granduciel and co. would be releasing an extended version of the album on cassette, with a whole second side dedicated to those sonic experiments. You can listen to one of them, “Snake Tongues,” here, thanks to Altered Zones. It sounds much more couch-based ‘headtrip’ than the ‘roadtrip’ quality War on Drugs jams are typically ascribed, a peek at the laborious artistic decision making behind one of our favorite end-of-summer albums. Tune in and see you on the other side.