The New Pornographers have shared their new track “Angelcover” and spoke to NME about their upcoming ninth album, “Continue As Guest”. Watch below along with our interview with frontman Carl Newman.
Angelcover” is the second sampler from the new album, his first for Merge Records, and follows January’s single “Really Really Light”.
Speaking to NME, bandleader Newman said the song directly addresses his growing interest in the power of his voice, which defines the album as a whole.
“The chorus goes, ‘Melody, melody / Got nothing on the delivery,'” he explains. “I wrote it because I was thinking about the way people listen to music. Have you ever listened to music and thought, ‘This is the worst fucking song, but it’s sung beautifully’? I think that there is a lot of music that is not there. more what polished shit, no song, but so well produced and so well sung that people do not care.So that is a song with a little meta, singing about the process and it to do.
He continued: “I was obsessed with the vocals on this record, I wanted to sing in a different way. I think when you play music for a long time, you always try to find that balance when you seem like you but don’t repeat yourself.”
Newman took advantage of the time left by the coronavirus lockdown to learn how to produce at home. Learning as he goes has also helped to keep things fresh, as The New Pornographers enter their 25th year as a group, he explained.
I think everyone who’s been making music for a long time is trying to find a new way to approach it,” he says. “I remember an album where The Walkmen changed instruments to change things.”
“In this case, becoming a producer/engineer was exciting, I was learning things I should have already known. Also, for some reason, it seemed to me that it changed the way I write songs. Oh in terms of lyrics, I think I’ve always written weird lyrics, like David Byrne or Eno or someone like that. I didn’t pay much attention to the stories, I didn’t want to be Bruce Springsteen, but I started thinking , ‘It might be fun to try to write songs that make sense.’
For the album’s lead single, “Really Really Light,” Newman reworked an unused recording by The New Pornographers’ Dan Bejar, aka Destroyer. “It’s the chorus of a song that we don’t use [el álbum de 2014] ‘Bruiser’s Bill’. I thought, ‘I’m going to take this chorus and write a whole new song around it.’ I was listening to that Aloe Blacc song ‘I’m The Man’ where he interpolates Elton John’s ‘Your Song’, and then I thought, ‘I’m going to interpolate a Dan song that nobody’s ever heard! ‘”
Add Newman: “Talking about finding ways to keep doing new things, it was a fun challenge trying to make it fit together, it took me a while. I wanted it to be like it was written by the same person, even. although the verses were by Newman and the choruses by Bejar. It was a pretty high concept.”
The record also features a collaboration with Speedy Ortiz frontwoman Sadie Dupuis, “Fireworks In The Falling Snow,” which was also in rare form.
“It’s funny, I haven’t met her yet!” says Newman. “I’m a fan, I had the music, so I cold called her and said, ‘Hey, do you want to write some lyrics?’ Within a few days she sent me a song she sang. It had lyrics that I thought were great, especially the line ” Firework In The Falling Snow. I started cutting parts, cutting out her lyrics and adding mine, but I felt that I needed someone to come and show me what the heart of the song is.
“Collaboration can be tough. I’ve tried to do it with a lot of really talented people, and sometimes it’s not what you want. It’s not a New Pornographers song.”
His most unusual collaboration, he recalls, was with an abandoned Broadway musical project based on the Archie Comics universe. “The life of a musician is strange. Strange things hang in front of you and then they disappear.”
The title of the new album, “Continue As Guest”, reflects a feeling of alienation that Newman draws from different places. “It has many levels,” he says. “Everyone who has spent any time shopping online sees that line, ‘Would you like to continue as a guest?’ and I keep clicking on it like, ‘Yes, yes, I’m continuing as a guest!’ ugly [cuando se estaba haciendo el álbum]. Trump was president, the far right was in power. I felt like I was trying to find a way to be in the world, but not of the world.
“It reminds you why you became an artist or a musician. Because you felt like an outsider, outside the mainstream, and how you carry that with you throughout life. I hope when I say ‘I think I want to continue as a guest.’ not like a negative thing, sometimes I read the lyrics [de la canción que da título al disco] And I worry that it looks like a suicide note.”
Although Newman’s enthusiasm for his craft hasn’t waned since he began his career with alternative rock group Superconductor in the early 1990s, he admits that “I’m a little confused by a lot of the music business”.
“I hate to sell myself, I wasn’t the kid who wanted to go on stage and perform for people, I was always the kid who loved music,” he said, “I think the There’s always that element that will remain pure to me. That’s why you surround yourself with like-minded people.”
The band’s recent signing at Merge reflects this desire. “I’ve known these guys for a long time, because Destroyer has been on the label for 20 years. There were groups like Arcade Fire and so a number one record, but they’re also good at releasing records that don’t sell but 1000. do you copy.
“For them, that can be there. That’s why I was so happy to sign with Merge, because they seem like people who only do it for love, and they do it for life . I hope it can be a long relationship.”
Newman revealed that The New Pornographers are already making good progress on the follow-up to “Continue as Guest.” “I feel a certain pride in our toughness,” he said. “We don’t give a shit, we wait. You don’t like this one, so we’re going to do another one, and we’re going to keep doing this until we die. That’s what we do.”
Continue as a Guest” out March 31. Check out the full tracklist below.
1. “It’s really very light
2. “Pontius Pilate’s Home Movies
3. “Cat and mouse with light
The New Pornographers announce their new album ‘Continue As A Guest’ and share the single ‘Really Really Light’
We are excited to share their new single “Let The Lights On” and tell us about their new album “Anywhere But Here”.
4.’Last And Beautiful
5. “Continue as a guest
6. “Episodes of the Bottle
7. “Marie and the Submarine
8. “Angel cover
9. “Fireworks in the Falling Snow
10. “Automatic Series of Wishes