I've had conversations that began with things like, "Hey, doesn't this song sound exactly like that feeling you get when you've spent a really amazing day outside in the sun with your favourite people?" or "Hmm, I've just combed over these lyrics and realised that not once do they mention rain, which is really surprising because this song sounds exactly like how it feels to be stuck sulking inside all day when it's raining," and been surprised when the person I'm talking to says; "YES. I know EXACTLY what you mean," because I wasn't sure if I was making sense, even to myself.
I'm listening to the latest New Pornographers album, 'Together,' which was released earlier this month, and reflecting on how one of the things that I adore about The New Pornographers is that so much of their music sounds like how you feel when you realise that everything's going to be OK, even if, at the moment it's completely the opposite. At the moment, I have 'Sweet Talk, Sweet Talk' on repeat, and I'm not sure what it's about, or even if it's about anything at all, but I don't care because it accomplishes everything I've come to expect and love from The New Pornographers.
New Pornographers lyrics always seem like they contain some hidden meaning that's obscured by the fact that Carl Newman is such a Goddamned genius that no one else will ever be able to figure out what he's talking about. They don't. You can analyze them as much as you want, but, as Carl put it, there's no such thing as a letter from an occupant; he's honestly just stringing words together in a way that he thought sounded cool at the time of writing. Can you tell me what A mistake on the part of nature, it's forgiven, move on, won't wear my Sunday suit to walk that street, that would feel Byzantine actually means? Probably not, but when music feels like the knowledge that things are about to get a lot better than they are at present, in ways that you can't predict, how important is its meaning, or whether or not it even has one?
The New Pornographers - Sweet Talk, Sweet Talk