The New Pornographers, "Together"
Canadian indie rock titans the New Pornographers have always managed to stand out among their contemporaries up north. The band's fifth album, "Together," is no different. The fresher feel on the Vancouver group's new set could partially be attributed to frontman Carl Newman's openness to collaborating with his peers. Brooklyn-based artist Annie Clark (better known as St. Vincent) lends guitar to the downtempo "My Shepherd," on which the Pornographers' Neko Case straightforwardly admits, "If I'm honest, you come to mind/But baby, I'm not." Okkervil River's Will Sheff sings on the poppy opener, "Moves," and the Dap-Kings (the backing band for soul singer Sharon Jones) sprinkle a touch of funk throughout "Together," most notably on "Daughters of Sorrow." But the raucous guitars and thundering drums of lead single "Your Hands (Together)" display the New Pornographers' ability to do just fine on their own. -Erin Clendaniel