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  • Writer's pictureZim Ahmadi

TRACK REVIEW: "Falling Down The Stairs of Your Smile" - The New Pornographers

GENRE: ALTERNATIVE ROCK / INDIE ROCK RELEASE DATE: 2 AUG 2019 Canadian indie rock band The New Pornographers have announced a new album with this single about the probable stresses of modern relationships. The New Pornographers, (their name comes from a Japanese film called the Pornographers) have been a source of joy in my indie music library since the early 2000s. It’s the left-field, colourful power pop paired with eccentric lyricism and arrangements that made me fall in love with them since they released their second album Electric Version. The band is almost a super-group bringing together members from so many other bands at that time (Cubs, The Evaporators, Destroyer, Maow, Limblifters, just to name a few), and also introduced me to the ethereal, lyrical magic of Neko Case. (This Tornado Loves You is a great song). Over the years, the band has maintained their biting, whimsical charm, occasionally diving into more solemn melancholy such as the intermittent sombreness of their 2007 album Challengers. How the band has grown is mainly centered around their knack at integrating the severe and the humorous all at once. There’s a sense of humour poking through their discography and Falling Down The Stairs of Your Smile continues that aura of absurdity in the lyrics (So look alive it’s much cheaper. The dead have expensive taste/The look-alikes found their way here. It’s you they want to replace.) The music sounds mellow on the surface, but the way the chorus comes in belies a clear intensity. Kathryn Calder’s harmony with Carl Newman (also known as A.C. Newman) in this song is beautiful and grounds the song back into its essence of being a love song, after verses speaking to worries of the modern world. My favourite line from this track is the second half of the bridge “Too many soapboxes, not enough violins, Too many shipwrecks, not enough sirens” Their upcoming album, ‘In The Morse Code Of Brake Lights’ comes out September 27, 2019. In a press release, A.C. Newman stated: “I was about two-thirds of the way through the record when I began to notice that lyrically so much of it was pointing toward car songs. The opening track is ‘You’ll Need a Backseat Driver,’ and that was a metaphor that seemed to be running through other songs, too. Next to the love song, I feel like the car song is one of the most iconic kinds of songs in pop music, from Chuck Berry to the present. There was so much of that throughout it that I started thinking: ‘Oh, no, there’s too many references to cars on this record!’ And then I thought, ‘No, that's good—people might think it’s a concept album.’” RATING: 4 / 5

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