Following Mini Mansions came on the Canadian band with what to me seems like the best pop rock album of 2014 in its pocket. The New Pornographers, I wonder whether they are still happy with the name, started the show, six men, one woman strong, with the brilliant opening from their new album 'Brill bruisers', called 'Brill bruisers' as well.
The New Pornographers is a collective, a super group, around singer-guitarist A.C. (Carl) Newman, who writes most of the songs. A wall of sound is created around those songs. There seldom is a real solo in there, everything is centered around the vocal melodies. Two, three, four, five vocal melodies are built up right over the wall of sound the whole band creates. Most songs culminate in fantastic choruses that beg singing along to.
In the songs there is a hint of the 80s, some new wave too, in that sense Mini Mansions was a logical support act. What The New Pornographers discarded, was the doom of the 80s, or almost, I'll get back to that later. The melodies in the end are upbeat, inviting to dance, positive. The ohs and ahs that are sprinkled around take care of that also. The effect of the songs of The New Pornographers is that they make me happy when listening to them.
|Drummer Joe, photo: Wo.|
As said Neko Case wasn't present, Kathryn Calder was. Carl Newman's and her voice seem to have been made for each other. The previous time I saw the band, in Utrecht some years ago, the singing was great also, but what I heard yesterday was fantastic. There were quite some heavenly melodies between the two. On top of that electric piano parts that added to the already mentioned wall.
And then there was 'Backstairs'. No matter what others think of 'War on the east coast', 'Backstairs' is one of the songs contending for the song of 2014 title. This song has everything that makes a song interesting, outstanding and great.
You can listen to 'War on the east coast' here.