The New Pornographers – Whiteout Conditions – Ltd Ed White Vinyl LP
2017 release. Whiteout Conditions is the follow-up to 2014’s Brill Bruisers. ‘Cohesive.’ It’s a word New Pornographers founder A.C. Newman still sounds a little bit surprised to say as he describing the band’s seventh album, Whiteout Conditions. It’s a quality that you wouldn’t necessarily intuitively associate with a so-called supergroup that, by it’s very collective nature, seems bound to have a good deal of stylistic variance built into the formula (or lack of it).
Can an outfit built on the appeal of multiple frontmen and frontwomen develop a signature sound after all? Maybe, and maybe better late than never. The focus on Whiteout Conditions (The New Pornographers’ first album on their own imprint, Collected Works Records, in partnership with Concord Records) comes down to a couple of notable shifts: increased tempos, for one, and increasingly blended vocals, for another. There are fewer extended solo lead vocal turns by any of the band members and more choral effects or interplay between the men and women in the group.
If you’re of a certain age, you might start thinking of them as an indie-rock Mamas and the Papas, or… ‘I’ll take that,’ Newman says, ‘but the Fifth Dimension is always the one we’re going for, way more than the Mamas and the Papas! I hesitate to throw out catchphrases that might be repeated back to me a thousand times, but at the beginning of this record, there was some thinking that we wanted it to be like a Krautrock Fifth Dimension. Of course, our mutated idea of what Krautrock is probably doesn’t sound like Krautrock at all. But we were thinking: Let s try and rock in a different way.’