The Drums' eponymous 2010 debut introduced the band with lead track "Best Friend," a synthesized rhythm of pure pop contagion undercut by the swooning opening line, "You were my best friend, but then you died."
It's a move stripped straight from Morrissey's songbook, and much of the Brooklyn quintet's music is drowned in a nostalgia of sound that eschews the contemporary by pushing it back to an essential pop sound.
"I think we have almost a fetish for nostalgia," laughs guitarist Jacob Graham. "We're always looking to the past, and when we do think about the future, we like to think about it through the lens of a Sixties camera. I think a lot of that comes from trying to write really strong melodies. It used to be such a strong thing to have these really special, heartfelt melodies, so now, as soon as you write a melody like that, it automatically sounds like a throwback, because people weren't afraid to do that in the past.
"These days, when you have a really beautiful melody, it's almost a sign of weakness. It's not cool, even in pop music. I think that a lot of music has lost its personality."
That personality may rest upon pop whimsy, but the core duo of Graham and frontman Jonathan Pierce demonstrates a precision of self-production layered expertly on last year's sophomore effort, Portamento.
"We don't want 20 years from now for people to look back on the Drums and say, 'Oh, the Drums, they were such a 2000s band.' We want to be our own thing," insists Graham. "When you think of bands like the Ramones or the Zombies, they just seem like they existed in their own world, and we really like that idea."