The Drive-By Truckers chronicle the unrest that has filled the United States in 2020 in the new music video for their song “The New OK.” The clip features footage from protests in Portland, Ore., all taken this past summer.
Truckers co-founder and songwriter Patterson Hood now lives in Portland, and penned “The New OK” after attending a peaceful protest there on July 25. Marches, rallies and other demonstrations have continued in the West Coast city since late May, after the death of George Floyd — an unarmed Black man in Minneapolis, Minn., who died when a police officer knelt on his neck for nearly eight minutes — prompted protests throughout the United States.
“As I walked home, I couldn’t help but notice the people who were walking in the other direction. They seemed to have a very different intent than the people I had been marching with all evening,” Hood shares. “I could hear the sounds of teargas canisters being launched against the protesters and a very different scene starting to take place … The New OK is not okay.”
“The New OK” is the title track of the Drive-By Truckers’ newest album, their 13th studio project, released on Oct. 2, only months after the release of their record The Unraveling. Largely culled from the songs recorded during the sessions, at Memphis’ Sun Studios in Fall 2018, for The Unraveling, The New OK also features two new songs Hood wrote over the summer, “The New OK” and ”Watching the Orange Clouds,” and a Ramones cover (“The KKK Took My Baby Away”).
The Drive-By Truckers only began discussing releasing The New OK in early August. They recorded Hood’s two new songs remotely: drummer Brad Morgan played over Hood’s demos, Hood then recorded his guitarwork, and finally, Cooley, Patton and multi-instrumentalist Jay Gonzalez finished them off.
“Protesting is an American right, protected by the constitution. We fully support the right to peaceful protest. We are steadfastly opposed to white supremacy and bigotry. We do not condone violence from anyone,” the Truckers say in a statement. “Make your voice heard. Get out and vote.”
The New OK is available now. Physical copies of the record will arrive on Dec. 18.
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