Drive-By Truckers are back with a timely music video for “The New OK”, the title track off the band’s new album. Coming ten months after the release of The UnravelingThe New OK is out now on digital platforms with a physical release coming on December 18th.

What originally started as a quarantine EP comprised of songs that were cut from The Unraveling, this new nine-song LP was inspired by the events of this past summer. With topical songs like the title track, “Watching The Orange Clouds”—inspired by the protests following the death of George Floyd—and a cover of The Ramones “The KKK Took My Baby Away”, The New OK takes an unflinching look at what frontman Patterson Hood called, “this endless summer of protests, riots, political shenanigans and pandemic horrors.”

Related: Patterson Hood Ponders Changing The Name Of Drive-By Truckers In ‘NPR’ Essay

Before the music starts, the video is prefaced with statement from Hood saying,

I wrote this song after attending a peaceful protest on July 25th in my adopted hometown of Portland, Oregon.

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.

I could hear the sounds of teargas canisters being launched against the protesters and a very different scene starting to take place…

This is then followed by over five minutes of actual footage shot at protests in Portland, OR throughout the summer. While the city was decried by conservative media outlets as descending into chaos as a result of rioters and looters, the footage instead shows peaceful protests continuously disrupted by federal troops, police in riot gear, and outside agitators. Meanwhile, Hood sings lines like “Promised each other we wouldn’t really get too rough,” while images of protestors sprayed with mace and assaulted with batons flash onscreen.

Hood said of the song in a press release,

To call these past few months trying would be a dramatic understatement. Our lives are intertwined with our work in ways that give us our best songs and performances. It is a life that has often rewarded us beyond our wildest dreams. Speaking for myself, I don’t have hobbies, I have this thing I do. To be sidelined with a brand new album and have to sit idly while so much that I love and hold dear falls apart before my very eyes has been intense, heartbreaking, anger provoking and very depressing. It has gone to the very heart of our livelihoods and threatened near everything that we have spent our lives trying to build. Here’s to the hope that we can make 2021 a better year than this one has been. In the meantime, here’s to THE NEW OK!

The end of the video for “The New OK” comes with another message,

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. Including the federal troops or the police.

Make your voice heard. Get out and vote. 

Watch the video for Drive-By Truckers’ “The New OK” below. Click here to pre-order The New OK on CD or vinyl.

Drive-By Truckers – “The New OK” (Official Video)

[Video: Drive-By Truckers]