The New Pornographers
While Vancouver’s The New Pornographers has always been considered a supergroup — the band features Dan Bejar (Destroyer), alt-country goddess Neko Case, Limblifter’s Kurt Dahle and the Evaporators’ John Collins — it’s really AC Newman’s baby. He writes most of the material and the ’60s-meets-’80s production steers much closer to his old band Zumpano than any other member’s work. But Twin Cinema feels like more of a collective effort than the previous two New Pornos albums. Bejar contributes three tracks that are full and confident without sounding overdone. Newman has also loosened his grip on the mic — nearly every track features a duet or tri-part vocal. Which means more Neko, always a good thing. “Falling Through Your Clothes,” with its rushed 6/8 metre, features a three-part vocal harmonic that re-enforces the broken cadence of the chorus, an effect that would have been totally lost as a solo voice. But the shining moment here is “The Bleeding Heart Show,” which starts with a slow piano and guitar intro but then swiftly builds to a triumphant finale. Case and Newman trade off vocals, leading to a coda that keeps stacking itself with layer upon layer of ecstatic jubilation. Case finishes you off with a punishing yet angelic belting of the kicker — “You have a right to let your big bleeding heart show” — over a chorus of “hey-la/hey-la/hey-la.” It is truly an exalted climax. If Newman and company have impressed you in the past, Twin Cinema will dazzle and astound from start to finish.