Anderson East reckons with a collective need for clarity in “Drugs,” the funky new release from his upcoming album Maybe We Never Die. The follow-up to 2018’s Encore, Maybe We Never Die will come out August 20th.

Veering away from the retro R&B sounds that have been a mainstay of his albums, East cooks up a bass-driven disco groove for “Drugs” that’s accented by theremin and perky flute runs. The Alabama native adopts a silky falsetto for most of the tune, pondering the eternal difficulty of facing reality. “’Cause the world behind our eyes is better in disguise,” he sings, “so we try to keep the feelings numb.”

East wrote the song with Aaron Raitiere after thinking about all of the ways people prevent themselves from being present or otherwise obsess in unhealthy ways. “I feel like that song, that was the hardest one to get right, because it’s definitely not a glorification of drugs,” he said in a release. “If anything, it’s a hardened look at yourself inward.”

For its serious theme, “Drugs” comes with a lighthearted video. East, dressed in a tan jacket and slacks, cruises around in something that looks like a mid-Eighties Pontiac Sunbird and encounters folks in a series of chemically altered stupors. He tries to raise red flags, but the people keep stumbling on new ways to enhance their realities.

East recently announced his Maybe We Never Die Tour, which gets underway October 13th in Mobile, Alabama, with supporting performers on select dates including Foy Vance, Bendigo Fletcher, and Savannah Conley. Tickets go on sale May 21st at 10 a.m. local time.

May We Never Die Tour dates:

October 13 – Mobile, AL @ Soul Kitchen


October 15 – Dallas, TX @ Venue TBA


October 16 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall


October 17 – Austin, TX @ Mohawk


October 22 – Los Angeles, CA @ Troubadour


October 23 – San Diego, CA @ The Observatory


October 24 – San Francisco, CA @ Filmore


October 26 – Crystal Bay, NV @ Crystal Bay Club Crown Room


October 28 – Portland, OR @ Roseland Theatre


October 29 – Eugene, OR @ WOW Hall


October 30 – Seattle, WA @ The Showbox


October 31 – Vancouver, Canada @ Rickshaw Theatre


November 2 – Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory


November 3 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Commonwealth


November 5 – Englewood, CO @ Gothic Theatre


November 6 – Fort Collins, CO @ Venue TBA


November 12 – Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium


November 30 – Indianapolis, IN @ The Vogue


December 1 – Detroit, MI @ St. Andrews Hall


December 3 – Chicago, IL @ Vic Theatre


December 4 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue


December 5 – Madison, WI @ Majestic Theatre


December 7 – Omaha, NE @ Slowdown


December 8 – Des Moines, IA @ Wooly’s


December 10 – Kansas City, MO @ Madrid Theatre


December 11 – St. Louis, MO @ Delmar Hall


December 12 – Chattanooga, TN @ Walker Theatre


December 14 – Asheville, NC @ Orange Peel


December 15 – Knoxville, TN @ Bijou Theatre


December 17 – Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall


December 18 – Cincinnati, OH @ Bogart’s


January 13 – Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse


January 14 – Charlotte, NC @ Fillmore


January 15 – Raleigh, NC @ Lincoln Theatre


January 18 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club


January 21 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall


January 22 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer


January 23 – Charlottesville, VA @ Jefferson Theater


January 25 – Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground Ballroom


January 26 – Portland, ME @ State Theatre


January 28 – Boston, MA @ Paradise


February 1 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Mr. Smalls


February 2 – Toronto, Canada @ Danforth Music Hall


February 4 – Louisville, KY @ Mercury