Posts Tagged ‘A.C Newman’

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The band’s last album was 2017’s Whiteout Conditions, also released on Collected Works/Concord. In a previous press release Carl Newman (who also produced the album) says In the Morse Code of Brake Lights is an accidental concept record.

“I was about two-thirds of the way through the record when I began to notice that lyrically so much of it was pointing toward car songs,” he said. “The opening track is ‘You’ll Need a Backseat Driver,’ and that was a metaphor that seemed to be running through other songs, too. Next to the love song, I feel like the car song is one of the most iconic kinds of songs in pop music, from Chuck Berry to the present. There was so much of that throughout it that I started thinking: ‘Oh, no, there’s too many references to cars on this record!’ And then I thought, ‘No, that’s good-people might think it’s a concept album.'”

Previously the band shared the album’s first single, “Falling Down the Stairs of Your Smile,”.

Then they shared another song from it, “The Surprise Knock,”. That was followed by a video for “Falling Down the Stairs of Your Smile” and another song from the album, “One Kind of Solomon.”

Happy release day to my pals in The New Pornographers! We’re on tour right now (tour dates below) and I want to send a special thank you and shout out to my sweetheart of a husband Colin Stewart who NOT ONLY sends me daily cat photos so I don’t miss the cat too much while I’m away, he ALSO did an amazing job mixing/recording The New Pornographers ‘In The Morse Code of Brake Lights’. A big thank you to everyone who worked on this record with us, and thanks everyone for listening!

In The Morse Code Of Brake Lights CD/LP is out this week on Collected Work/Concord
“Since their inception, the New Pornographers have often been labeled a “supergroup”. Since A.C. Newman’s voice and guitar has rarely hogged the spotlight, it’s been easy to overlook the fact that he’s very much the mastermind behind the Canadian indie rock band’s coherent, but transcendently harmonious, pop sound. As a co-producer, he’s always displayed a nearly Brian Wilson-level gift for melding the group’s dizzying arsenal of talents, from Neko Case’s clarion alto to Dan Bejar’s quirky change-of-pace songs. In The Morse Code Of The Brake Lights is the band’s second album without Bejar and original drummer Kurt Dahle. But whereas 2017’s Whiteout Conditions buzzed along in familiar New Pornos fashion, with a bright, fizzy krautrock vibe and an equitable mix of vocalists, Brake Lights is, at least by the group’s typical power-pop standards, a heavier, murkier affair, with Newman’s voice sitting front and center for much of its duration.”

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The New Pornographers Whiteout Conditions

The New Pornographers have always insisted that they aren’t a supergroup, but no one has ever believed them. Between A.C. Newman, Neko Case, Dan Bejar, and a stellar set of supporting players, the band includes some of the finest musical talent Canada has to offer. Their collective résumé is damn impressive, but their chemistry is even more so. Since their debut Mass Romantic, the New Pornographers have always sounded like natural collaborators, seamlessly integrating Newman’s natural ear for melody, Bejar’s quirks, and Case’s pathos and enchanting voice (and vocalist Kathryn Calder’s, for that matter). You can say they’re not a supergroup,

Whiteout Conditions, the New Pornographers’ seventh album, is the most compelling twist on the supergroup narrative in the band’s discography. Two of their main members aren’t on it. Dan Bejar was too busy working on Destroyer’s follow-up to Poison Season to participate, and Kurt Dahle, whose phenomenal drumming was essential to much of the band’s early work, has left for good. You can feel their absence, but it doesn’t slow this record down. Despite losing a part of their signature sound, the New Pornographers have made their best record since 2005’s Twin Cinema.

In Bejar’s absence, Newman takes on full songwriting duties and shines. He’s always been the principal songwriter in the New Pornographers, but on Whitehouse Conditions he outdoes himself with eleven tracks that put the power in power pop. The four opening tracks—“Play Money”, “Whiteout Conditions”, “High Ticket Attractions”, and “This is the World of the Theater”—stand among the band’s best ever songs.

Each one balances the talents of the band in intricate, infectious melodies. Voices are edited into fragments and rebuilt into complex and original frameworks. The synthesizer holds over from 2014’s Brill Bruisers, but it doesn’t dominate the record in the same way. The tempos are faster than they are on most New Pornographers records, especially the mellower Challengers and Together, but Whiteout Conditions manages its momentum so that its energy is never exhausting. Closing on album standout “Avalanche Alley”, you’re left with your blood pumping, ready to play it through again.

The New Pornographers have a knack for generating positivity from darker moods. In that regard, Whiteout Conditions is a welcome spring escape. The title track’s enchanting melody distracts from its somber lyrics about struggling to get through the day, but Newman’s refrain of “Such a waste of beautiful day” feels like an admonition to get outside and embrace whatever beauty you can find.

Perhaps the most noteworthy thing about Whiteout Conditions, however, is how well it meshes with the rest of the New Pornographers’ discography. Brill Bruisers was a solid record, but there was the sense of a band getting its bearings with updated tools. Here, the music feels more organic and in line with the songcraft that has formed the band’s backbone to date. True, Bejar, who traditionally wrote about a third of each record, is missed. The album sags slightly in the middle, and one wonders if his touch might have added an interesting surprise here and there. But the heart of the New Pornographers, an undeniable chemistry and pop sensibility, remains and thrives. They’re not just a supergroup, a collection of talented musicians. They’re a great band,

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“Where have all sensations gone?” Neko Case asked on this Vancouver band’s debut. A lot of indie-rockers were wondering the same thing during the music’s late-Nineties nadir. The New Porno’s gave the scene a jolt of energy and sorely missed fun. Burt Bacharach fan Carl Newman, Bowie obsessive Dan Bejar and alt-country barnburner Case didn’t have much in common on paper but on songs like “Letter From An Occupant” and the title track they came up with music that surged with electric smarts, roundhouse drum-pump and hooks atop hooks. It’s power pop that never lets up for a minute.

Initially billed as the biggest Vancouver supergroup that no one had heard of, the New Pornographers were burst to life fully formed on Mass Romantic. There’s three different vocalists competing for your attention here – Neko Case, A.C Newman and Dan Bejar all the while the band opts to throw everything into the same blender. What the New Pornographers excel at is making everything sound like a massive sugar rush with their voracious love of synths and guitars and catchy melodies. With Mass Romantic, the band proves themselves studious in their noted appreciation of the pop form and its classics but too hypercharged and frenetic to come across as retro. The highlights are many: The vocal harmonies on “Letter From An Occupant”! The way those brash synths build up and let loose on “Mystery Hours”! How it takes less than thirty seconds for the band to get to the chorus for “The Mary Martin Show”! The New Pornographers would scale greater heights in later albums and make big names out of everyone involved but Mass Romantic was where they thrillingly laid down the blueprint.

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The New Pornographers fans have to hold out until April to hear their next LP, but the band’s making the wait a little easier with the release of the set’s second single, “This Is the World of the Theatre.”

The new track, now on streaming services and embedded below, arrives a month after the release of previous single “High Ticket Attractions” — which was released along with a announcement that they’d be putting out their new album “Whiteout Conditions” on April 7.th.

The upcoming LP, the group’s seventh overall and first since 2014’s Brill Bruisers, opens some new chapters for the New Pornographers: it’ll be the first album for new drummer Joe Seiders, a touring sideman with several years of tenure, and it also marks their first record without guitarist Dan Bejar. As is generally the case with pre-release tracks these days, “This Is the World of the Theatre” — which features lead vocals from singer Neko Case .

The New Pornographers, who are scheduled to start a U.S Tour shortly after Whiteout Conditions arrives, are taking full advantage of streaming services with the album’s promotional campaign. Frontman A.C. Newman recently put together a Spotify playlist, “Things I Like” offering fans a window into songs he currently has in his personal heavy rotation. There will be a white vinyl edition of the new album.

Listen to the New Pornographers Perform ‘This Is the World of the Theatre’