Published Jan 01, 2006With their third album, Twin Cinema, ready to get the kids jumping, one might assume that, with the influence of various solo projects (Neko Case's country career, Dan Bejar's work as Destroyer), the disparate Vancouver supergroup have changed from their humble beginnings. Head Pornographer Carl Newman calmly explains otherwise. "You know, it hasn't whatsoever. When we were recording [2000 debut] Mass Romantic, nobody knew about us or cared. [Now] here we are, still working the same way, because it just works. Whatever the style is, there's something that makes us sound like us even when we veer off from it, we don't veer off that much."
While Twin Cinema keeps to the upbeat adrenaline rush that New Pornographers' fans expect, there are some surprises, such as the addition on backing vocals of Newman's niece and Immaculate Machine front-gal Kathryn Calder. But it's in the selection of songs for Neko Case to lend her powerhouse vocals to that Newman toys most with past success. "Getting Neko to sing the prettier, quieter ones people don't expect that in the band. That was kind of a deliberate move. What we did on the last record is find the most hit-like [songs] and give them to Neko, but [this] was kind of contrived in its way."
While many might have thought the New Pornographers would only be around for one, maybe two albums, the urge to continue is still strong; Twin Cinema proves that Newman is starting to look at the bigger picture by keeping fans on their toes when it comes to a beloved sound. "I used to have a theory that all you need is a big drumbeat and a good female singer and people will eat it up. I initially thought that jokingly, but it's kind of true. That's why I decided to screw with the formula."