New Pornographers In An 'Epic' Mood On New Album

Canadian indie rock outfit the New Pornographers are in the thick of recording the follow-up to 2005's "Twin Cinema," with an eye on a late August release via Matador.

Canadian indie rock outfit the New Pornographers are in the thick of recording the follow-up to 2005's "Twin Cinema," with an eye on a late August release via Matador. That set cracked the top 50 of The Billboard 200 and has sold 111,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

"With 'Twin Cinema,' we branched out to the point where we illustrated that all bets were off for this new album," group principal Carl Newman tells Billboard.com. "We realized, we can do any kind of song we want on our albums. This record is an extension of that. It is maybe slightly more epic. It has our first song that passes the six-minute-long mark. In fact, it might have our first songs that pass the five-minute mark!"

Newman is particularly high on the three Dan Bejar-penned songs tipped for the set, including "Myriad Harbor." Vocalist Neko Case also takes the mic on three songs, one of which, "Go Places," is described by Newman as "kind of like" the early '70s country hit "I Never Promised You a Rose Garden." "Maybe that's just my warped take on it," he offers. "I'm kind of fascinated by that song because it's one of the biggest departures for us. I'm trying to figure out how to Pornografy-it."

Newman's contributions include "Salinger," which he says is "more of a ballad than we've ever had before. You don't want to depart too much from what you are, but at the same time, you don't want to totally repeat. I've had moments of thinking, this one sounds too much like us, but this one doesn't sound enough like us."

Case, whose solo career has blossomed considerably in the past few years, is still planning to join the Pornographers on the road in the fall once the new album is out. Her parts are normally sung live by Kathryn Calder, much to the confusion of fans and bemusement of the band.

"It's a strange thing where you have people coming up to Kathryn and calling her Neko," Newman says. "Or you read about bloggers who have really fierce opinions about the band and write about how great Neko was, even though she wasn't there. It's like, you don't even know what Neko looks like!"

"The nature of our band is that there's always a lot of different people singing," he continues. "Nobody ever seems to be singing more than three songs. Kathryn's doing a couple; at least one or two. I'm like, which ones am I singing here? I'll just sing the leftovers."

The group will play some new songs at a few shows in the next month as a warm-up to a late April appearance at Coachella. A longer tour will run from September to October, according to Newman.