Toronto’s Alt-Rockers The Drifts Explore Tumultuous Love with “Breaking Every Bone”

If you’ve ever really lived, then at some point you’ve had one of those wildly tumultuous relationships where you can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em. Toronto-based alt-rockers The Drifts capture such a bittersweet, intoxicating situation with their shimmery-and-shadowy new single “Breaking Every Bone.”

Featuring a dark, grungy bassline under glittering guitar, “Breaking Every Bone” explores the layers of an on-and-off relationship as singer Alyssa Holmes alternates between a near-whisper and a stadium wail. “It’s just so easy to crawl back to you/ I always stumble and fall back to you,” she confesses, and then the song builds and dissolves over the chorus:

I’ve been breaking every bone in my body
Trying to write a love song
You think you get to know somebody
You get it all wrong
Giving me a run for my money been running too long

The corresponding music video captures the band performing in the middle of the Joshua Tree desert during the golden hour. “The song has a fierce and raw feel that seems incredibly fitting with the desert,” said Holmes. “We shot a raw performance video at dusk in Pioneer town, and loved the simple and honest feel it gave.”

Co-written with JUNO-winning rock band the Monowhales, “Breaking Every Bone” developed as Holmes and her bandmate Sam Nyberg strove to elaborate on their collaborators’ initial lyric of “I’m breaking every bone in my body/ Trying to write a love song.”

“For such a happy person, I tend to write darker lyrics,” Holmes said. “That lyric and that melody made the rest so effortless. ‘Breaking Every Bone’ is a song that gets right to the point: How am I supposed to write a love song if I can’t stand you?”

The song, included on The Drifts’ new EP, expands on the theme of their first album Traces, which focused entirely on falling out of love. “This EP, and specifically this single, feels like it is dedicated to the in-between,” Holmes said. “The moving forward and trying to find what you had once again, but with all the struggles and baggage that now come along with it.”

The Drifts are an up-and-coming rock band from Toronto formed in 2019 by Alyssa Holmes, Sam Nyberg, Binod Singh Jr., and Tay Ewart. Together they have created a bold and exciting sound that is both deeply personal and relatable. Their name represents themes in their lives from around the time the band was formed, a slow movement from one place to another, the act of being carried and shifted by a force or current.