Emerging from Brooklyn via Florida in 2009, The Drums initially caught the ear of the indie world with their ‘Summertime’ EP. Their rise, particularly in the UK, was meteoric. Early buzz led to a prestigious spot on the BBC Sound of 2010 shortlist and a slot on the Shockwaves NME Tour.
Their terrific self-titled debut LP, released in June, was split 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 had sold 200,000 copies globally by summer 2011.
For the often difficult second 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. The record’s titled ‘Portamento’ is a 17th century Italian term that denotes a vocal slide between two pitches. For Pierce, it takes on an additional, personal meaning, he explains: “Jacob and I met as young boys with a shared love for Kraftwerk and Anything Box and Wendy Carlos, and these were all synth pioneers. A common feature on old analogue systems was ‘Portamento' - it dictates the travel time from one note to another, and we have always thought it was a beautiful word.”