Guster released their first album, Parachute, in 1995. Over the past 23+ years, they have stayed true to a mostly jangly rock sound with guitar typically front-and-center.
Taking that into account, "Hard Times" is unlike anything the band have done. Industrial electronic beats and synth pads lay the foundation for "Hard Times" gloomy vibe which is offset with airy vocals and uplifting melodies. The sound is like a cross between Bon Iver, Death Cab for Cutie, and Guster's more somber side. It is a big departure for the group, but seems to be connecting with the fans as a reflection of where we all are in 2018.
Directed by Jon Danovic, the video features a woman sitting in a vehicle as she slowly goes through a carwash. Frontman Ryan Miller talked about the video and Jon's approach with Billboard:
What a cool, weird, totally appropriate take on the song -- you can always tell when things come from the heart, and this song, if nothing else, wears its heart on its sleeve... Jon totally finds the guts of the thing in a car wash, with a sad lady at the wheel. Who knew?
The song was included on a split single with "Don't Go." Check it out on Amazon and most major streaming services.
The band will begin a North American tour in November. For concert tickets and more, check out Guster's Zumic artist page.