We’re still just over two months away from the album’s release, but if you’ll head over to the Matablog, you can get your first taste of Together, the new album from indie rock’s premier supergroup, The New Pornographers (take that, Monsters of Folk). Its first single is the (sort of) title-track, “Your Hands (Together),” and it’s not exactly a far cry from what we’ve come to expect from them, with A.C. Newman, Neko Case and what seems like a dozen other people contributing to the scene-stealing harmonies. Their powerful voices have had a tendency to overshadow everything else, to sometimes maddening effect, but here, they’re letting the arrangement shine a bit: acoustic guitars mix well with crunchy electric ones, drums impressively roll pretty much the whole time, instrumental breaks direct your focus toward the vocals at key moments. The changes are subtle but welcome, especially the one where the vocal melody actually, if you listen carefully, sounds like something a fantasy-obsessed metal band would have written in the 80s.
Also, two things about their new press photo, which you’re looking at right now: 1) Heh. Hockey. They’re Canadian, get it? (Step up your fucking game, Monsters of Folk—for the next album you better be decked out in full baseball uniforms.) 2) Dan Bejar’s constant refusal to appear in their press photos is the coolest thing about him.