New Pornographers Unveil Ramshackle New Song 'The Surprise Knock' - Rolling Stone
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Hear New Pornographers Revive Raucous Energy on ‘The Surprise Knock’

Singer A.C. Newman said he wanted the latest In the Morse Code of Brake Lights track to sound like the band’s 2005 work

Canadian indie rock vets the New Pornographers unveiled a new song, “The Surprise Knock,” off their upcoming album, In the Morse Code of Brake Lights, out September 27th via Collected Work/Concord Records.

The track boasts a ramshackle energy as the drums skip with a heavy thump and the relentless rush of guitars is balanced by a line of choral “ahh”’s that ping-pong across the mix. “Drive off the map ‘til the horizon bleeds,” A.C. Newman sings, before Neko Case helps him complete the line in perfect harmony, “Didn’t need a war, but we got one, see.”

In a statement, Newman said the first version of “The Surprise Knock” had a very different feel than the final cut, but he was inspired rework the track so it sounded like a New Pornographers song from 2005. “I thought enough time has passed that I feel like I can play songs that sort of sound like a classic a sound and not feel like I’m repeating myself, because it’s been so long,” Newman said. “That was definitely a part of it: Just wanting to… I hate to say ‘get back,’ but just get more slightly raucous and sounding more like a band.”

“The Surprise Knock” follows previously released album cut, “Falling Down the Stairs of Your Smile,” which arrived earlier this month. In the Morse Code of Brake Lights marks the band’s first LP since 2017’s Whiteout Conditions. They’re set to embark on a North American tour in support of the new LP September 19th in Woodstock, New York.


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