Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The New Pornographers: Together

One of the things I like about writing these posts is that it has pushed me to try music that I might not ordinarily listen to. It also gives my brain something to do when it’s not otherwise engaged (see previous post). I find it very easy to get caught up in a daily routine that seems quite similar from one day to the next, and while being a mom to four kids is very challenging and rewarding and my job certainly keeps me busy, I sometimes feel itchy to experience more. To me, music is more accessible, from both a monetary and logistical standpoint, than other new experiences (travel or art or even dining). I’ve found it hard to express why I like or dislike a particular song or album, especially in a way that other people will find either interesting or compelling. Music is such a personal thing, so why let someone else choose what new music you hear by just listening to the radio? Whether you like or dislike something new, it’s fun to try something that might be outside of your everyday realm. I also think it’s cool to find music that everyone else isn’t listening to.

And that is my transition to Together by The New Pornographers. I liked Crash Years (from Misc. Singles II) so much that I thought I’d try the whole album by this band. As I mentioned in that post, I had subconsciously formed an opinion of this group based on their name, assuming there would be some vulgarity associated with their music- how Tipper Gore of me! In reality, they are an indie group comprised of two females and five males, and they mix up their music pretty well. Some songs have female leads, some male leads and some both, kind of like listening to a mix tape. You could definitely play this in the car with your kids, although I’m not sure how happy they would be about that- this is not as flashy as Ke$ha or Lady Gaga.

The iTunes version of this album has 3 bonus tracks, bringing the total number of songs to 14. While there are no songs that I strongly dislike, some favorites have definitely emerged. Test drive the 30-second version on iTunes and fork over $0.99 for one of these songs:

· A Bite Out of My Bed (shared lead vocals)
· Valkyrie in the Roller Disco (male lead)
· My Shepherd (female lead) – my favorite
· Crash Years (female lead) - getting radio play
· Your Hands (Together) (shared lead vocals) - video below
· Sweet Talk, Sweet Talk (shared lead vocals)

The video for Your Hands is below, and so far it is the only video from this album, which just came out two weeks ago. Impressive martial arts- enjoy!

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