(Prescription PR) The New Pornographers' debut record for new label Merge Records, Continue as a Guest, is out now. In celebration of the new record, the band is debuting the album track "Bottle Episodes".
"'Here inside the TV glow of these bottle episodes,' this one is another ambivalent story about day-to-day life in the pandemic times," notes frontperson A.C. Newman. "I was trying to capture a feeling of being stuck, but you don't mind being stuck. You're not sure what to call this life you're leading. Are you happy? You might be. There should be a word for this."
The band previously shared the record's first single, "Really Really Light," alongside a Christian Cerezo-directed video. Most recently they debuted the album tracks "Angelcover" and "Pontius Pilate's Home Movies.
Praised as "the band's warmest, most tactile record" by Uncut in their 8/10 review, and its track list described as "perfectly matched shapes of a ten-piece puzzle" in another glowing 8/10 from The Line Of Best Fit, Continue as a Guest is a true standout record from the band.
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."
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 New Pornographers have previously released eight studio albums, including their classic debut, Mass Romantic, reissued in 2021 to celebrate the 21st anniversary of its premiere. Their latest, In The Morse Code Of Brake Lights, debuted at #2 on the Billboard Alternative Chart, #6 on the Billboard Rock Chart and #15 on the Billboard Album Chart. It was hailed as "infectious" by NPR, while Rolling Stone praised "the Canadian power-pop crew keeps cranking out songs where the hooks-per-minute ratio is almost unseemly."