Last month, the New Pornographers announced their forthcoming LP, Brill Bruisers, with interactive art that let fans draw over the band name while the title track plays in the background. Here, listen to another track off the album, “War on the East Coast,” and watch its music video. It’s not interactive, but the Thom Glunt-directed clip does feature a stunning single take filled with fireworks, flying trash cans and a small riot in which young people turn up for no apparent reason. The Califorina license plates might contradict the title, but as Carl Newman, dressed here like an off-duty cop, adds during the hook, “It’s war out west.”
“We were going for some mid-Nineties second-tier Britpop attitude,” Newman tells Rolling Stone. “In the past, I’ve never really wanted to be in the video. But with this, we wanted to have fun and fully be in the video.”
“We were excited to pay homage to those brilliant Nineties music videos where the artist’s personality is prominently featured in one long unbroken shot,” says Glunt. “It was exciting to choreograph this video and call on the dedication and talents of the band’s fans (who appear as the video’s cast) to help us realize this vision for such a great song.”
In an earlier statement, Newman had said of Brill Bruisers, “This is a celebration record. After periods of difficulty, I am at a place where nothing in my life is dragging me down and the music reflects that.” The finished product will be released August 25th on Matador Records. After a few summer festival dates, they begin touring in early October.