On Our Radar: The New Pornographers send a completely irresponsible message with video for "Really Really Light"
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We get it—because you rocketed out of nowhere in the early ’00s to become a legitimate indie sensation, you have the feeling you can pretty much do anything. And, as anyone who’s ever cranked up the VW Golf stereo to “Letter From An Occupant” will agree, that’s entirely understandable.
Still, there’s something about the New Pornographer’s “Really Really Light” that leads to mixed emotions. Accenting the positive, it’s good to know that the Vancouver-spawned, indie-rock-royalty vets aren't just going through the motions. After two decades in the tour van, some folks are content to trot out the college-radio hits, others keep swinging for the fences a couple of blocks behind the Biltmore.
All soft-fuzz guitars and swooningly off-kilter harmonies, “Really Really Light” is inarguably mixtape worthy, no matter if that tape is focussed on the golden-era of Merge, or the next generation of Sub Pop anti-rock stars.
While we’re handing out accolades, bonus points for inviting Kathryn Calder to the video shoot. In the ugly world that is the music business there’s “nice” and there’s “downright saintly”. You can guess which category Calder is found under; do yourself a favour and check out her heartbreakingly excellent solo release Are You My Mother?, which you can read about here.
But for all the goodness in the clip, including the vintage track suits and smiling encouragement Svetlana Tulasi receives at the end of the clip, um, what the hell is wrong with people?
As anyone who’s ever had a kid in minor hockey knows, the number one thing you drill through every child’s head is that you don’t walk on pavement, blacktop, or Italian-marble bathroom floors on skates, especially after a $10 sharpening.
And what the hell do we see for three-and-a-half minutes in “Really Really Light”? A figure skater seemingly oblivious to the fact that she’s doing something really really stupid, namely treating a cement warehouse floor like it’s an Olympic-brand ice rink at the Richmond Oval.
Never mind “Don’t try this at home kids”. This is literally a case of don’t do this anywhere. Even if, because you’re the New Pornographers, you’re more than convinced you can get away with it.
The New Pornopraphers new album, Continue as a Guest, comes out March 31 on Merge Records.