Skip to product information
1 of 1

The New Pornographers - Continue as a Guest LP

The New Pornographers - Continue as a Guest LP

Merge Records

Regular price $22.98 USD
Regular price Sale price $22.98 USD
Sale Sold out
Format | Vinyl Edition

Merge Records is so very excited to share our first new signing of 2023 with you, and it's none other than indie rock behemoth The New Pornographers. The Canadian supergroup announce their new album, Continue as a Guest (out March 31, 2023). First single "Really Really Light" is maximalist pop set to minimalist visuals, with a surreal focus on an ice skater moving gracefully in grease-filled warehouse (directed by Christian Cerezo). The first single is also the bursting opener to the album, co-written with Dan Bejar (Destroyer, The New Pornographers), effectively refashioning a cutting-room-floor track from the band’s fantastic 2014 album Brill Bruisers.

Over the past 20 years, The New Pornographers have proven themselves one of the most excellent bands in indie rock. They’ve constantly offered new sonic surprises with every album, and Continue as a Guest is their greatest leap to date. The group’s ninth album and first for Merge establishes them alongside modern luminaries like Yo La Tengo and Superchunk when it comes to their ability to evolve while still retaining what made them so special in the first place. A dazzling and intriguing collection of songs that are built to last, Continue as a Guest finds bandleader A.C. Newman and his compatriots Neko Case, Kathryn Calder, John Collins, Todd Fancey, and Joe Seiders exploring fresh territory and shattering the barriers of their collective comfort zone.

Along with Newman’s usual cast of collaborators, several songwriters contribute to the album in curious ways. Neko Case, who happened to be living just a short distance from Newman during lockdown, became an anchoring presence during most of the writing & recording sessions, contributing in all the ways you'd want a songwriter of Case's caliber to be involved. Standout track “Firework in the Falling Snow,” a pen pal-esque collaboration with Sadie Dupuis (Speedy Ortiz, Sad13), hits with an equal mix of freshness & familiarity, like seeing your favorite painting from an angle you've never witnessed before. A noticeable sonic change also comes courtesy of saxophonist Zach Djanikian, whose tenor and bass tones luxuriate all over Continue as a Guest’s alluring chassis, especially on the menacing build of “Pontius Pilate’s Home Movies.”

Themes of isolation and collapse bleed into this album’s lyrical framework, as Newman tackles the ambivalence of day-to-day life during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the endless pitfalls of living online. But Newman says that Continue as a Guest also addresses the continually rolling concerns that come with being in a band for so long. “The idea of continuing as a guest felt very apropos to the times,” he explains. “Feeling out of place in culture, in society, being in a band that has been around for so long—not feeling like a part of any zeitgeist, but happy to be separate and living your simple life, your long fade-out. Living in a secluded place in an isolated time, it felt like a positive form of acceptance: find your own little nowhere, find some space to fall apart, continue as a guest.”

Even as Newman embraces a collaborative spirit more than ever, Continue as a Guest is also a testament to his ability to discover new artistic sides of himself. “I started out as a songwriter more than as a singer, but at some point, you have to sing your own songs,” he says with a chuckle. “For a long time, I felt like the idea of changing a song because I couldn’t hit a note wasn’t okay—I could just get someone else to sing it. But I’m learning now that my songs can actually be a lot more malleable than I thought.” And it’s in that spirit that Continue as a Guest sounds like a thrilling path forward for The New Pornographers, with songs that generate a contagious feeling of excitement for the future as well.

View full details