Top 5 songs by the New Pornographers

# 5. Unguided
from the album "Challengers" (Matador, 2007)

A very untypical New Pornographers song. The typical being a uptempo guitardriven pop n'roll classic in three minutes. This one, a epic clocking in at six and a half minute. None the less one of the very best songs ever being released on a New Pornographers album.

The writer, Carl Newman, describes it this way:

"My first true epic at over 6:30 in length. This is MY New York song, though no one can tell. It is all about August 2005, everything up in the air, it was very hot, and I was camping out in NY for a week. The big bridge at the end, 'why wait for the weakened state to lie next to the weaker sex?', has nothing to do with the rest of the song, just a good line/universal truth. Kathryn is embarrassed that she had to sing it, yet only she could nail it the way it had to be nailed."

And, as he says, I never knew it was a New York song, maybe only he knew. What I did know is that I absolutely love the line he is mentioning, it must be one of the best lines ever. It doesn't necessarily fit the lyrics for the rest of the song, but it does fit the song's mood.

Other favourite lyrics in the same song are:

" wrote yourself into a corner safe
easy to defend your borders
a fallen saint into a whispered time.."

I'm madly in love with the melody which starts in the build up to the chorus and the chorus itself. It has got this timeless quality in it. In many ways it reminds me of another little gem out there, The La's song "Timeless Melody". They both got these great melodies going on. And the countermelody in the "weaker sex" line, simply stunning.

Take a listen:

The New Pornographers - Unguided

Found at


Rachel said…
I think Adventures in Solitude deserves at least an honorable mention,. It's my favorite TNP song :)
Sergio Tubaldi said…
You forgot Adventures in Solitude