The New Pornographers
The New Pornographers. Alternative pop/rock band, formed in 1997 in Vancouver, B.C. by Carl Newman (vocals, guitar), Dan Bejar (vocals, guitar), John Collins (bass), Kurt Dahle (drums), Todd Fancey (guitar), Blaine Thurier (synthesizer) and Neko Case (vocals).
Newman was a member of Superconductor and Zumpano. Bejar fronted Destroyer. Collins was also a member of Destroyer and he was also in The Evaporators. Dahle was in Age of Electric and Limblifter, and Fancey was also in Limblifter. Case had been in Maow before becoming a solo artist. These pedigrees prompted the term "indie supergroup" being affixed to The New Pornographers when it formed. Lead single "Letter from an Occupant" attracted attention to the band's Mass Romantic debut album, which was full of effervescent pop music and received a 2001 Juno Award for best alternative album.
Electric Version followed along the same lines in 2003, and received widespread critical acclaim and some radio play for "The Laws Have Changed" and "All For Swinging You Around." The growing popularity of Case's solo career made it difficult for her to tour with The New Pornographers on a regular basis, so singer/keyboardist Cathryn Calder (Newman's niece and a member of Immaculate Machine) was added to the band to record the somewhat toned down 2005 album, Twin Cinema, which was nominated for a best alternative album Juno. Live! was recorded in 2006 but was only sold at concerts and through the group's online store.
The New Pornographers' first three albums were released in Canada by Vancouver's Mint Records, but the band moved to another Canadian independent label, Last Gang Records, for 2007's Challengers. United States-based Matador Records releases the group's records internationally. The more refined Challengers made the highest sales chart debut of any New Pornographers record, but that was bettered when 2010's Together reached number 18 on The Billboard 200 chart in the United States and number 14 on the Canadian sales chart. It featured contributions from St. Vincent, Beirut's Zach Condon and Okkervil River's Will Sheff. The New Pornographers contributed a cover of "Think About Me" to the Just Tell Me That You Want Me Fleetwood Mac tribute album in 2012.
Newman, Bejar, Case and Calder continue to release albums of their own, while group members also collaborate with various musicians on other projects.