The New Pornographers are one of those bands that I’ve always felt vaguely guilty for not liking. The problem wasn’t that I had some deep-seated hatred for the group that I was unable to express, but rather that the group’s impressive reputation and pedigree never translated into great music for me. Sure, Twin Cinema is a catchy album, but the remainder of the discography has always struck me as wasted potential; just-okay records produced by a group of musicians who’re much more than just-okay.
But with Brill Bruisers, I’ve seen the light. I love it right from the title – it references the Brill Building and its classic sound, but plastered in hypercolour on the record’s cover it reminds me of Sleigh Bells (“Rill Rill”, perhaps?), and the record sounds just like the core of that duo’s music – restless, maximalist energy – has been transplanted into The New Pornographers. And that energy elevates Brill Bruisers to my favourite record of 2014 thus far.