A month after surprise-releasing their latest album, the dark sign-of-the-times LP The New OK, Drive-By Truckers have posted a potent video for the album’s title track.
Featuring footage from the summer of protests in Patterson Hood’s hometown of Portland, Oregon, the video serves as a stark backdrop for the song’s on-the-scene reportage.
“Summer in Portland, everything’s fine,” Hood sings in the rocker. “Black Lives Matter holding up the line/We got mommies and vets taking fire/From the cops on the beat and the occupiers.”
“It was powerful and moving to be in the middle of it,” Hood told Rolling Stone earlier this summer about the protests. “It being Portland, there was a llama involved. This is a wacky little town. But, walking home across the bridge that night, the people walking towards downtown weren’t wearing masks, and they weren’t there for Black Lives Matter. They were there to start shit and raise hell, just a couple people here or there heading the other day. When I got home and the next day, having seen what I’d seen in person, seeing how my city was being portrayed nationally really depressed me. I wrote ‘The New OK’ that week.”
After its digital release last month, The New OK will be available in physical formats in December.