The Student Playlist

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REVIEW: The New Pornographers – ‘In The Morse Code Of Brake Lights’ (New P’s / Concord)


In a sentence:

Canadian indie-rock veterans The New Pornographers keep things very much the same as ever on eighth album ‘In The Morse Code Of Brake Lights’ – and that’s a great thing.

The New Pornographers are back with their eighth album, just two years after releasing the well-received Whiteout Conditions. Similar to its predecessor, In The Morse Code Of Brake Lights doesn’t offer many stand-out tracks, but rather delivers an enjoyable experience through consistently good songs which never fall below a certain mean standard. And, once again, it’s the skilful use of harmonies and the ability to create a unique atmosphere throughout the whole record that will satisfy the Vancouver-based indie-rockers’ fans.

While saying that, it’s definitely worth mentioning that there are some stand-out moments on the record too, even though In The Morse Code Of Brake Lights could hide them very well with its complete and steady performance – songs such as ‘Higher Beams’, featuring Carl Newman’s intense lyrics: “Deep in the culture of fear, we all hate living here, But you know when you can’t afford to leave? […] Thank you for nothing”, or ‘Falling Down The Stairs Of Your Smile’ which later transforms into “falling down the stairs of your love”, driven by a funky baseline and some of the most prolific drum work on the record, might quickly become your favourites.

Music video for ‘Falling Down The Stairs Of Your Smile’

In between these songs, there are plenty of other moments which call for attention, especially if you feel like digging deeper into the lyrics, which are more than a handful on In The Morse Code Of Brake Lights. Simultaneously, The New Pornographers stick to what they have already been doing well, which is creating a vibe that feels unifying and friendly, probably due to the collective effort of the “supergroup” – whose number includes Neko Case – as well as their already verified aptitude for keeping the energy high for the whole length of the album. This way, The New Pornographers set themselves for yet another successful release, which lifts the spirit of the listener and presents some of the band’s top quality work. (7/10) (Alicja Rutkowska)

Listen to In The Morse Code Of Brake Lights by The New Pornographers here via Spotify, and tell us what you think below!

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