Drive-By Truckers have announced the release of a new album, The New OK, arriving on CD, vinyl and all streaming services Friday. The surprise LP is the second album from the band in 2020, following the January release of The Unravelling.

The New OK was originally conceived as a quarantine EP, assembled from material recorded during sessions for The Unraveling. But the state of the nation yielded new music by the band, inspired by what co-founder Patterson Hood described as “this endless summer of protests, riots, political shenanigans and pandemic horrors.” “To call these past few months trying would be a dramatic understatement,” Hood explained in a press release.

“Our lives are intertwined with our work in ways that give us our best songs and performances. It is a life that has often rewarded us beyond our wildest dreams.”

He continued: “Speaking for myself, I don’t have hobbies, I have this thing I do. To be sidelined with a brand new album and have to sit idly while so much that I love and hold dear falls apart before my very eyes has been intense, heartbreaking, anger provoking and very depressing. It has gone to the very heart of our livelihoods and threatened near everything that we have spent our lives trying to build. Here’s to the hope that we can make 2021 a better year than this one has been. In the meantime, here’s to The New OK!”

In anticipation of the album’s release, Drive By-Truckers have unveiled the title track. “The New OK” – one of two songs on the LP inspired by protests following the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police – features lyrics that speak directly to the biggest issues of 2020. Riots in Portland, tear-gassed protestors and the Black Lives Matter movement are just some of the current events mentioned in the song.

Elsewhere on the LP, Drive-By Truckers deliver their own take on the Ramones‘ classic “The KKK Took My Baby Away.” Despite being inspired by social unrest, Hood believes the new release is an “album that hopefully balances out the darkness of our current situation with a hope for better days and nights ahead.”

You can see the full track listing for The New OK and listen to the title track below.

Drive-By Truckers, ‘The New OK’ Track Listing
1. “The New Ok”
2. “Tough to Let Go”
3. “The Unraveling”
4. “The Perilous Night”
5. “Sarah’s Flame”
6. “Sea Island Lonely”
7. “The Distance”
8. “Watching the Orange Clouds”
9. “The KKK Took My Baby Away”

 





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