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Artists keep what fans love

“Brill Bruisers” by The New Pornographers 

The Canadian indie-rock “supergroup” The New Pornographers released their sixth studio album Aug. 26. This is the group’s latest album since “Together” in 2010. 

The first single, from which the album’s title is derived, immediately captures the listener with A.C. Newman’s lead vocals and a symphonic, danceable rhythm. The harmonies from the other members overlap a chorus that states “And the sea was alright/ Yeah it was alright/ It’s all we know/ How to never go back.” The instrumentation, synth and vocals collide in a way that proves the song to be an infectious first single and great start to the album. 

One of the best attributes of The New Pornographers is that they are a blended group of successful musicians that take turns stepping up on lead vocals. Neko Case shows off her incredible talent on “Champions of Red Wine,” Dan Bejar sings the album’s second single “War on the East Coast.” Kathryn Calder sings lead on one of the softer tracks “Another Drug Deal of the Heart.” 

The majority of the album has a perfect mixture of harmonies and blended voices that are reminiscent of old rock ‘n’ roll with a new sound that has yet to be explored. Standout tracks also include the hyper “Dancehall Domine,” and with the help of Amber Webber, “Born with a Sound.” The New Pornographers have evolved since their last album four years ago but kept up their signature quirky, danceable sound. 

“El Pintor” by Interpol 

“El Pintor,” the most recent album released by the New York City band since its self-titled album in 2010, is also the first since the departure of bassist, Carlos Dengler. But the drop to the three-member group did not slow Interpol down, and this new album leaves nothing wanting. 

Paul Banks, lead singer and guitarist, added the position of bassist to his repertoire for this album. There is less bass on this album than in their past, but the guitar and drum solos have increased and add a new magic to the group. 

The first single, “All the Rage Back Home” begins as almost a whisper until Banks cranks it up 50 seconds in. The chorus ends with, “I keep falling/ Maybe half the time/ But it’s all the rage back home.” A perfect first single, this song reminds fans of the first two albums, “Turn on the Bright Lights” from 2002 and “Antics” from 2004. 

Other songs that stick out on the album are “My Blue Supreme,” which feels like a depressive, dreamlike song. “Is someone there? I’m dying to be/ Cruising in my blue supreme.” In “Breaker 1,” Banks’ deep voice chants over a strummed guitar rift and a light stir of the drum before leading into a louder, more passionate bridge. “My achness all of days, surrenders of a wild side/ I’m inclined cause I’ve seen my dreams deep fried/ And I take my turns in stride to speed my feet away.” Interpol has always been a band that writes deeply psychological lyrics to match a dark, riveting sound. 

“El Pintor” is an absolute treat, and it shows true growth from the band. Even despite the loss of a member, they stay true to their old sound while still making it feel new. 

Other album recent album releases:

Alt-J: “This is All Yours” Out Tuesday 

Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett: “Cheek to Cheek” Out today 

Aphex Twin: “Syro” Out today 

Julian Casablancas + The Voidz: “Tyranny” Out Tuesday

Tweedy: “Sukierae” Out Tuesday