The New Pornographers: Really Really Light

Clever vocal interplay and a gradually insinuating melody are on display here.

The New Pornographers: Really Really Light

By Kerry Doole

The New Pornographers: Really Really Light (Merge Records): There is big news in the camp of this now-veteran BC-based collective, for the group has just signed to famed US indie label Merge Records, home to the now-maligned Arcade Fire. A new album, Continue as A Guest, is set for release on March 31, preceded by new focus track Really Really Light and an accompanying video directed by Christian Cerezo.

In a press release, leader A.C. Newman explains that the track is a co-write with former NP member Dan Bejar (Destroyer), formerly intended for the band’s acclaimed 2014 album Brill Bruisers. "Part of my process throughout the years has been messing with things I never finished. I really liked Dan’s chorus, and for a while, I was just trying to write something that I felt like belonged with it,” Newman shares.


“I was thinking of the Aloe Blacc song The Man, which interpolated the chorus from Elton John’s Your Song, and thought it would be fun to interpolate a song that no one knows. Not trying to sound like Aloe Blacc, just doing some interpolating of my own. It became a game of writing a verse that felt like a part of the same song. In my mind, I was striving for a little Jeff Lynne–era Tom Petty, a classic go-to.”

The mid-tempo cut features a clever interplay of male and female vocals, a group signature, plus ringing guitar and a gradually insinuating melody. Another winner from a band with a trunk full of gems accumulated over a career now spanning two full decades.

Newman began work on Continue as a Guest at his Woodstock, New York home over the course of a year after the band had just finished touring behind 2019’s In The Morse Code Of Brake Lights. The 10-track album, the group's ninth, is produced by Newman and features compatriots Neko Case, Kathryn Calder, John Collins, Todd Fancey, and Joe Seiders, as well as contributions from saxophonist Zach Djanikian and, in addition to the Bejar, co-write, the track Firework in the Falling Snow was co-penned by Sadie Dupuis (Speedy Ortiz, Sad13). 


The press release explains that the upcoming record "tackles themes of isolation and collapse, following the ambivalence of day-to-day life during the pandemic and the endless pitfalls of living online." Heavy stuff, but the exuberance of The New Pornographers and Newman's melodic gifts are sure to keep agst at bay. We look forwad to hearing more.

A spring North American tour has also been announced. It begins in Asheville, NC, on April 19, concluding in Saxapahaw, NC, on May 21. The band plays Toronto's Danforth Music Hall on May 12. Itinerary here.






Publicity: Ken Beattie, Killbeat


Booking Agent -Canada: Steven Himmelfarb, Feldman Agency

DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla
@anmollium / Anmol Raina

DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla

Chart Beat

Karan Aujla & DIVINE Debut in Top 25 on Billboard Canadian Albums Chart

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE land the No. 22 spot on this week's Canadian Albums chart with their new collaborative release, 'Street Dreams.' On the Canadian Hot 100, Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em" ascends to No. 1, while Canadian pop artist Preston Pablo makes a debut.

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE are making moves together on Billboard's Canadian Albums chart this week, with their collaborative project, Street Dreams, debuting in the No. 22 spot.

The seven-track album, released Feb. 16, blends harder hip-hop and smooth R&B pop, the latter shining through especially on the Jonita Gandhi-assisted "Yaad." It's not Aujla's highest spot on the Albums chart — he reached No. 5 in 2023 with Making Memories, his collaboration with Canadian Punjabi artist Ikky — but it gives him some momentum going into his upcoming performance at the Juno Awards on Mar. 24, where he's nominated for TikTok Juno fan choice and breakthrough artist.

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