Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

The New Pornographers’ New Album is a Standout Work of Fun and Thoughtful Power Pop

The New Pornographers - High Ticket Attractions (Official Music Video)
The New Pornographers released Whiteout Conditions, their seventh album, on April 7th through the band’s own label, Collected Works Records. Leading up to the album’s release, the band unveiled the official music video for lead single “High Ticket Attractions.” The official video is a bright scene of students destroying their high school. The song’s prominent synths and drums complement that brightness and project an odd sense of glee in the destruction.

The song’s lyrics dig deeper than that description suggests, however. New Pornographers’ founder AC Newman notes, “High Ticket Attractions,” “was written before Trump won the election, although there was already a lot of anxiety of ‘Holy shit, things could go terribly wrong.'” Specifying, he notes, “There’s a lot of anxiety to lines like ‘The Mayans took their science and dumped it all in the drink and went silent,’ and the Magna Carta being underwater. All the water stuff is an obvious reference point for global warming: We came from the water; are we going back there?”

This dichotomy between the band’s upbeat power pop instrumentals and darker lyrics is not unique to “High Ticket Attractions.” The album’s title track opens with a playful drumbeat before the tempo jumps up and the guitar kicks in. But the chorus reveals a darker side to the song: “Only want to get to work / But every morning I’m too sick to drive / Suffering whiteout conditions / Forget the mission, just get out alive.” As Newman describes, “It’s basically a song about going through a depressive episode. It’s about the eternal battle, which feels like an epic battle, and just trying to get out of that place and into another place.”

Even with these heavier songs, Whiteout Conditions never feels too dark or pessimistic. The band’s ability to produce a catchy, joy-inducing melody is in full view on the album, and the record marks another standout for The New Pornographers thanks to the band’s buoyant energy, clever melodies, and a newfound cohesiveness in lyrical and musical themes.

The New Pornographers’ Whiteout Conditions is out now through Collected Works Records and is available on Amazon , iTunes, and The New Pornographer’s Official Store.

Terence Praet
Terence Praet contributes to The Manual’s New Music Monday column. He studied Philosophy and History at Skidmore College…
From Alien 3 to The Killer, these are the best David Fincher movies ranked
If you're a Fincher fan, add all these films to your must-watch list
Alien 3

Since he emerged on the scene with his own Alien sequel, David Fincher has gained a reputation for being exacting, precise, and brilliant. Whether he's making an unconventional thriller or a throwback to Hollywood's golden age, Fincher's movies are always distinctive, imaginative, and hugely engaging.

Over the course of his career as a director, Fincher has made more than a couple of genuine masterpieces. While he's yet to win any major Oscars, Fincher has always seemed most interested in following his own muse, and is less concerned about how his decisions will be viewed by those around him. You may think of Fincher as a thriller guy, but anyone who's followed his career closely knows that thrillers aren't the only thing he makes.

Read more
The 11 best Ryan Reynolds movies – Deadpool, Buried, and more
As a Ryan Reynolds fan, you must see all of his top films listed here
Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool in Deadpool and Wolverine.

"I don’t expect success. I prepare for it." Wise and self-fulfilling words from our guy, Ryan Reynolds, one of Canada’s sweethearts. Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Reynolds dreamed of getting out of there early in his life, not to abandon his family or hometown, but to act. True to his words, he and a fellow Vancouver actor impulsively took to the road one night with one destination: Los Angeles. After taking the first step in following his dreams, his car was stripped and robbed on his first night in L.A. Did that stop our fearless protagonist? Indeed not. After just a few months, Reynolds was landing roles all over town, working whenever he could. Five years later, he finally got a leading role with a recognizable name, a college comedy called Van Wilder: Party Liaison. That movie didn’t make our list today, but it's only because Reynolds has been busy making an array of better movies ever since.
Most would agree that Ryan Reynolds brings a familiar presence in both appearance and demeanor to most of his films, but when you get a frame that fits just right, you get some great Ryan Reynolds features. That is why we’ve compiled a list of the best Ryan Reynolds movies. It should also be known that these movies were chosen for the movie quality and watchability, not just for the most Ryan of the Reynolds’ performances.

Just Friends (2005)

Read more
Is AT&T down? What you need to know about the outage
Woman looking at cell phone with network issues -- is AT&T down

Starting Thursday morning (February 22), AT&T's network went down for many U.S. customers, with over 70,000 affected, according to DownDetector. Customers are reporting they're unable to place calls, send text messages, or access the internet in various capacities. It also appears that AT&T is not the only network experiencing these issues, as some Verizon and T-Mobile customers have also indicated outage and connection issues.

AT&T has not provided the reason why the network is down, and for now, it recommends that all customers take advantage of Wi-Fi calling, if necessary, until services are restored.

Read more