Posted by: outroversion | June 9, 2010

THE New Pornographers

The New Pornographers

Please excuse my capitalisation of the definite article  but this post has been a long time in coming. On paper TNP is Carl Newman, Dan Bejar, Neko Case, Kathryn Calder, John Collins, Kurt Dahle, Todd Fancey and Blaine Thurier. A backwards Canadian supergroup of sorts in that their solo successes came on the back of their time with the band, although all relatively successful in Vancouver and the line up features any or all of the aforementioned line up.

I first became aware of them around 2003 when Electric Version (2003) came out featuring some of my favourite rediscovered tracks this year (Blown Speakers, Electric Version, All for swinging you around) which was well received, coming on the back of critical success Mass Romantic (2000) which thrust them into the indie consciousness carrying such heavyweights as letter from an occupant, holy wars and the title track itself.

During this period Carl Newman and Dan Bejar were cultivating their solo careers. The latter producing solo material as Destroyer since as early as 1996 with Carl playing under the moniker A.C Newman receiving favourable review with moderate selling albums is 2004 and 2009.

Katherine Calder, who carries the largest burden vocally sharing female vocals with the growing in stature Neko Case, whose vocals she replaces when Neko is unavailable for live performances, also divided her time with Immaculate Machine before calling time on the home grown outfit last year.

Ever since those first two albums they grew in reputation with every release and tour. Twin Cinema peaking at #44 in the billboard chart featuring a formidable track listing with Twin Cinema, Bones of an Idol and Sing me Spanish Techno. The follow up in 2007, Challengers did divide fans but personally I think it’s great and again came even higher in the U.S charts at #34. I sometimes think that some fans might not know how to take Dan Bejar’s music but this album featured one of his best works in myriad harbour. With tracks in addition to that being all the things that make heaven and earth, all the old showstoppers, challengers, my rights -v- yours and the spirit of giving this album more than holds its own.

2010 saw their ascent reach its highest point thus far with Together reaching #18, a near flawless record. Crash Years and Hands (together) were released ahead of the cd as a signal of intent and perhaps even a display of confidence in the material. Sweet Talk, Silver Jenny Dollar, Moves, You Can’t see my mirrors and Bite out of my bed are some of the best tracks of this year.


Mass Romantic

Electric Version

Twin Cinema


Your Hands (Together)



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  2. […] Further Reading: THE New Pornographers […]

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