Veteran indie legends The New Pornographers are about to release their ninth album ‘Continue As A Guest’ through new home Merge Records on 31 March 2023 and have unveiled the deliciously entitled single ‘Pontius Pilate’s Home Movies’ to whet the apetite.
The single is a buoyant horn-tinged jingle jangle delight with an ominous riff running through it over pounding drums. The dual voices and harmonies add texture – a distant and observant delivery that slowly builds up with the instrumentation to an incendiary finale. The melodies soar throughout with an indelible refrain.
Frontperson A.C. Newman says of the themes of the track:
Lyrically, it is very much a stream-of-consciousness story about the disease of social media and online culture,. The narrator that only likes art when it changes the subject, buried in daydream, thinking it’s an entrance, and the idea of Pontius Pilate entertaining his friends with home movies of the crucifixion (what else would he be showing? That part’s clear, right?). It was a product of being stuck at home at a time when online was the only way for many to communicate, and obviously it had its negatives. One of those songs that might seem like word salad but is not, its disjointed nature very deliberate.
The result is an intelligent pop song that swings and canters with a high-stepping trot:
You can pre-order the album here and though the link below.
In celebration of the new album, The New Pornographers are set for a run of North American shows this spring, with support from Wild Pink. The dates include two sold out nights at Chicago’s Thalia Hall, as well as further performances at New York’s Brooklyn Steel and Boston’s Royale.
The 10-track record is produced by Newman and features compatriots Neko Case, Kathryn Calder, John Collins, Todd Fancey and Joe Seiders as well as contributions from saxophonist Zach Djanikian and co-writes from Dan Bejar (Destroyer) and Sadie Dupuis (Speedy Ortiz, Sad13).
The album tackles themes of isolation and collapse, following the ambivalence of day-to-day life during the pandemic and the endless pitfalls of living online. But Newman says that ‘Continue as a Guest’s title track also addresses the continually rolling concerns that come with being in a band for so long. He explains:
The idea of continuing as a guest felt very apropos to the times. Feeling out of place in culture, in society—not feeling like a part of any zeitgeist, but happy to be separate and living your simple life, your long fade-out. Find your own little nowhere, find some space to fall apart, continue as a guest.
Feature Photograph: Ebru Yildiz/Composed: Nicole White