californian desert

The War on Drugs / Californian Desert


A musical/landscape partnership made in heaven.


Whether it’s listening to the records tirelessly, or watching the band play live in darkened bandrooms or in muddy paddocks at music festivals, you can close your eyes and be anywhere else, such is the open and evocative nature of the music.This is a band that always makes me feel like I’m on holiday.

Their previous albums ‘Wagonwheel Blues’ and ‘Slave Ambient’ have been the soundtrack for many past driving holidays, so once I realised their new album ‘Lost In The Dream’ was going to be released whilst I was holidaying in the States, there was no doubt this was the only companion needed for a solo drive through the California Desert.

On the new album there’s a lyric that goes ‘You’re like an ocean in between the waves..’ – it’s a perfect way to summarise both the music, as well as the sparse, yet overwhelmingly grand Californian landscape.

These two were made for one another – the stirring, rollicking tracks mirrored by the rolling snow-capped mountains, to the sparse cactus trees and sandstorms that wind and whiz past you on the side of the road.

Here are some of those amazing songs and the places I heard them…

Under the Pressure


An Ocean Between the Waves


Eyes to the Wind



-Lucy B

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Mirage: An Exquisite House That Reflects Beauty of the Californian Desert

US based artist and filmmaker Doug Atiken has created an idyllic architectural installation nestled at the juncture where the San Jacinto mountains open into the Coachella valley in California.

Exclusive new trailer and poster for Oscar Isaac’s Mojave

Oscar Isaac had one hell of a 2015, enjoying scene-stealing roles in the likes of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Ex Machina. 2016 promises to be just as fruitful, with appearances in X-Men: Apocalypse– and now, indie crime thriller Mojave. Empire has an exclusive new look at Mojave’s first trailer and poster.

Set in the Californian desert of the title, it sees Isaac on villainous duties, playing a mysterious drifter named Jack who comes up against depressive artist Thomas, played by Garrett Hedlund.

Mark Wahlberg and Walton Goggins also star in the film, which is being directed by William Monahan, best known for his screenwriting work on the likes of The Departed (for which he won an Oscar),Oblivion and The Gambler.

John Nugent