Work Drugs specialize in cocktails-compatible indie pop inspired by the soft rock era of artists like Christopher Cross and Donald Fagen, but with a lo-fi spark.
(They've embraced the label "smooth-fi.") The group was formed in Philadelphia by singer/multi-instrumentalists Thomas Crystal and Benjamin Louisiana. They self-released Work Drugs' full-length debut, Summer Blood, in mid-2011 before partnering with Chicago-based Bobby Cahn Records, which released a flurry of records that followed. After the song "Rad Racer" from their debut was featured in a commercial for Urban Outfitters later that summer, their second album, Aurora Lies, came out in November. A set of acoustic versions of existing songs, Cayman Islands Sessions, arrived before the end of the year. In 2012, they released both Absolute Bearing and Delta, with the Amore EP following in February 2013. Another full-length set, Mavericks, appeared that summer. Still with Bobby Cahn Records, their sixth LP of original material, Insurgents, arrived in March 2014, with Runaways on its heels that fall and Cayman Islands Sessions, Vol. 2 in December. In the meantime, Work Drugs maintained a regular touring schedule, usually with an expanded lineup, earning support slots for bands spanning Two Door Cinema Club, Peter Bjorn and John, Umphrey's McGee, and Battles, to name a few. Still sporting a tranquil, yacht-side vibe, the band issued Louisa in the summer of 2015. That fall, they recorded Method Acting, which was released in August 2016. Preceded by the single "Giving Up the Feeling," their tenth studio album, One Foot Off the Merry-Go Round, followed in 2017. ~ Marcy Donelson, Rovi