Between singer-songwriters to indie-rock royalty, The New Pornographers have become the epitome of multi-part harmonies and power pop. Formed in Vancouver in 1997, The New Pornographers are a musical collective that graces us with their warm and welcoming new album In the Morse Code of Brake Lights.
The lyrical mind-field of “Falling Down The Stairs of Your Smile”, sucks you into the song with a strange rhythm pattern that makes you wonder, just how are they getting all those syllables into the line? But it these lyrics that allow them to become less like a traditional love song than a metaphor for romance. There is something very sweet about lyrics that don’t reference love in an obvious way. The intimacy of the lyrics gives you a sense of real love and the way it can suck you in unexpectedly. The song is a little like that too. The chorus is super catchy with an ear-catching bass line and a melody that will be caught in your head for days.
Long car journeys used to be filled with music, silence, and story-telling. Trying to find ways to pass the time, a good story always seemed to do to trick. “One Kind of Solomon” deals with the aftermath of King Solomon. While the story of King Solomon is dark and weird, referring to him taking work “in this gig economy” and his temple being trashed “like it was a rental” is seems that life could be harder for him now than before. Elongated synth backs the lyrics and makes the track sound mythical and something out of this world.
It is pretty clear about halfway through the album that it is, in itself a journey. A journey through love, loss and contemporary political climate. And while the other tracks are about these topics in the broadest sense, “You Won’t Need Those Where You’re Going” is like an independent movie. A movie that is about a couple and how all these things have affected them personally. The track initially sounds quite fatalistic with repeated refrains for the same line but the music makes it so much more than that. With a steady beat and piano notes, continues at a steady pace making it hymnal and a solemn reflection on love lost.
In the Morse Code of Brake Lights continues to build on their incredible back catalog of albums. This album is slightly self-conscious and is like a collection of car songs that will make new and old fans very happy.