(Prescription) The New Pornographers are debuting their new track "Pontius Pilate's Home Movies" in anticipation of their forthcoming album Continue as a Guest, their first for Merge Records, due March 31.
"Lyrically, it is very much a stream-of-consciousness story about the disease of social media and online culture," frontperson A.C. Newman explains about the track. "The narrator that only likes art when it changes the subject, buried in daydream, thinking it's an entrance, and the idea of Pontius Pilate entertaining his friends with home movies of the crucifixion (what else would he be showing? That part's clear, right?). It was a product of being stuck at home at a time when online was the only way for many to communicate, and obviously it had its negatives. One of those songs that might seem like word salad but is not, its disjointed nature very deliberate."
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. During the writing and recording process, he discovered new lyrical, artistic and sonic approaches experimenting with his own vocal register.
The 10-track record 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 co-writes from Dan Bejar (Destroyer) and Sadie Dupuis (Speedy Ortiz, Sad13).
The album tackles themes of isolation and collapse, following the ambivalence of day-to-day life during the pandemic and the endless pitfalls of living online. But Newman says that Continue as a Guest's title track 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 - not feeling like a part of any zeitgeist, but happy to be separate and living your simple life, your long fade-out. Find your own little nowhere, find some space to fall apart, continue as a guest." Stream the new song below:
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