Hot Disc: The New Pornographers, Together

The New Pornographers is a band. Some call it a supergroup, others, a collective. But with a fifth record on the way, are we still calling The New Pornos names? Three years since their last outing and Carl Newman’s indie-rock outfit has moved back into the sweet environs of thoughtful power pop. Re-embracing said sensibilities, Together (Last Gang Records) turns the dial up from Challengers, the band’s last, more cerebral release.

Opening to minutes of radio silence, Together launches into pre-Challengers Porno-pop digs halfway through “Move,” a cheeky nod to Chicago’s “25 or 6 to 4.” And by track two, it’s already obvious that this record does move. “Crash Years,” part George Harrison pastiche, part epic, includes the non-stop charm of Neko Case, whistling, chiming, cellos and the New Porno’s knack for tunefulness.

All the beauty of The New Pornographers is on display. With members seamlessly swapping singer/songwriter duty, Together is a force to be reckoned with. Dan Bejar’s tracks are poetically cryptic, always melodious. Newman’s songwriting is flawless. Case has a voice of velvet. Kurt Dahle’s drumming is in the pocket and beyond. With guest appearances by The Dap Kings, Will Sheff of Okkervil River and Zach Condon from Beirut, The New Pornographers, make a damn fine record.

Together will be released on May 4. For now, browse The New Pornographers’ website to stream Together’s first single, “Your Hands (Together),” and keep up to date with the band’s summer tour dates. (“Crash Years” is also available on the iTunes store.)

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