there’s always a certain celebratory immediacy in the music of the new pornographers. in their latest album together, the songs keep rolling on untiringly, as they have in their previous efforts, from one melody, hook or chorus to the next. while supergroups like theirs are supposed to collapse under the weight of individual stars, carl newman, neko case and dan bejar have, like their songs, stuck together and remained unashamedly pop, album after album.
by the closing song of the together, it’s no surprise that we still find them dwelling on the themes of chance and serendipity. titled “we end up together”, the song wastes no time introducing its protagonist, “little brother” and his mid-life crisis of sorts. “when are you going to do some damage?“, newman asks, before ruefully contemplating this “damage, sweet damage” which ushers in the cello riff that drives the rest of the song in soundtracking little brother’s life. with its wry, poignant lyrics, the band has clearly chosen to end the album on a bittersweet note, but with its stubbornly uplifting strings, it emerges as one that’s equally triumphant against the odds. – dan.
together is out now on matador records. do also check out newman’s guest post in rolling stone for more on the inspiration behind this song.