Just as a cat meows or a man who graduates with a Psych or Liberal Arts degree will most likely keep working at whatever service industry position he was holding prior to graduation, not only because he doesn’t really have any great prospects at the moment but because he’s also kind of comfortable there, new Carl Newman songs will always be posted here.
Carl Newman, being the bulk of the creative motivation behind one of the Aught’s best power pop-cum-professional rock acts, the consistently incredible New Pornographers, is releasing a follow-up to his excellent 2004 solo album The Slow Wonder
with Get Guilty
(Jan. 20)—possibly a play on Elvis Costello’s excellent Get Happy!!
. As with The Slow Wonder
, we can expect a tonal reduction of the bombastic, burgeoning, full-band sound that the New Pornographers cultivates (due in no small part to the participation of stars-in-their-own-right Dan Bejar of Destroyer and Neko Case of herself). Get Guilty
should signal a return to Newman’s quasi-rustic self-reliance and a softening of instrumentation that sounds both nostalgic and grand. His thoughts tend to appropriately focus on smaller things on these solo albums, as if he’s at greater leisure to investigate the minutiae of experience, which, in turn, elevates the significance of a sigh or backward glance to something deeply revelatory.
His newly released song, “There Were Maybe Ten or Twelve,” appears as the first track on Matador Records’ free fall sampler
, which also includes new tracks by Belle & Sebastian and Lou Reed, among notable others. It seems the bar for the rest of 2009 will be set perilously high by the end of January. —Erik Bryan