Album Review: The New Pornographers, Whiteout Conditions

Indie supergroup unveil their strongest album yet

Three years ago, Canadian rockers The New Pornographers unleashed Brill Bruisers. Described as “a celebration record”, it would go on to become their biggest selling album to date. Perhaps not surprisingly, in the wake of its success, the AC Newman-led bunch have decided to keep the party going with the utterly joyous Whiteout Conditions. Faster, poppier and more immediate than anything they’ve released before, the 11-track opus is a stylish collection of what the band call “bubblegum krautrock”. Irresistibly melodic, the record unashamedly worships at the altar of catchy hooks and ‘80s indie.

Despite losing long-time member Dan Bejar this time around (the Destroyer frontman couldn’t fit recording sessions into his schedule), the band are in peak form. Opening proceedings in style, ‘Play Money’ is a big, booming indie-rocker with an infectious chorus. Elsewhere, the stunning ‘High Ticket Attractions’ – informed by “pre-Trump anxiety” – is a superb mash-up of the Go-Gos and Imperial Teen, while the slow-burning ‘We’ve Been Here Before’ and the dizzying ‘Second Sleep’ prove equally inspired. Excellent stuff.

 

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