- 31 Mar 23
Ninth album from Canadian indie supergroup.
Supergroups don’t usually last for two decades, yet that’s exactly what Canadian indie collective The New Pornographers have managed. This ninth album is amongst their strongest, as bandleader AC Newman, along with Neko Case, Kathryn Calder, John Collins, Todd Fancey and Joe Seiders, plough fertile musical ground.
Lead single ‘Really Really Light’, co-written with Destroyer’s Dan Bejar, is gorgeous, textured indie-pop, with a slight Americana edge. The twin male-female vocals are reminiscent of Better Oblivion Community Center, the incredible 2019 project from Conor Oberst and Phoebe Bridgers.
The strident ‘Last And Beautiful’ and the time-bending ‘Wish Automatic Suite’ wouldn’t be out of place on an Arcade Fire record, while Zach Djanikian adds some leftfield sax to the heady brew of ‘Pontius Pilate’s Home Movies’, the hypnotic title track and the airy ‘Bottle Episodes’.
Elsewhere, there’s a vintage Fleetwood Mac sheen to ‘Marie And The Undersea’, while the magical sway of ‘Cat And Mouse With The Light’ gets better with each listen. ‘Angelcover’ also sees them making moves towards the dancefloor, with its pulsating rhythm and sultry melody.
Having a wealth of songwriters at your disposal clearly helps when it comes to quality control.There’s not a weak song here, as the Canadians deliver a career high.
Listen: ‘Cat and Mouse With The Light’
Out now via Merge Records.
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