To coincide with Election Day, Drive-By Truckers have released the new song “The Perilous Night,” a politically charged polemic that follows the pointed commentary of the group’s 2016 opus American Band.
Much like the band’s song “What It Means,” “The Perilous Night,” written by Patterson Hood, is a deeply literal commentary on 2017’s acrimonious political climate.
“Dumb, white and angry with their cup half-filled,” Hood sings, before denouncing the KKK, Nazis and President Trump later in the song, “running over people down in Charlottesville.”
“‘The Perilous Night’ is the true follow to what we’ve been doing,” Hood tells Rolling Stone. “When we recorded American Band, there hadn’t even been the first primary yet and we were writing about this dark time I honestly thought was going to get better. I don’t think I could’ve mustered up the kind of cynicism to predict the type of bullshit we’ve seen this year.”
But Hood says that the explicit political nature of “Perilous Night” will likely make it stand apart from everything on the band’s upcoming LP, if it ends up making the final cut. “I don’t know if there will be any other songs that will be like that after this for a while,” he says. “We’ve cut a few things and thinking about what we’re going to do next, but I don’t know if they’re going to be in that vein as much. A lot of what I’m writing is deeply personal stuff, not that I don’t consider this stuff personal, because I do, I totally do. But the new songs are less blatantly political.”
“The Perilous Night” will be released December 15th on a 7″ alongside a live recording of “What It Means,” with portions of the proceeds going to the Southern Poverty Law Center.