ESSENTIAL “The Crash Years’’
Lovers of smart indie pop, the New Pornographers love you back. They’re reliable as rain, reappearing every couple of years with a fresh slew of muscular nuggets and winsome anthems. This week the Canadian sorta-supergroup releases “Together,’’ its fifth album, and provided you’re not the kind of fan who requires your heroes to evolve, the disc is delectable. Chief Pornographer A.C. Newman remains a twisted pop classicist, a man of many hooks and swerves, and they collide here in signature, idea-strewn pileups. As ever, Dan Bejar brings a different kind of weird, beefier and not as willfully blissed-out. Neko Case sings a lot: ’nuff said. Some of their pals make nondescript cameos — Annie Clark (a.k.a. St. Vincent) chimes in on “My Shepherd’’ and Beirut’s Zach Condon gets a trumpet part on “A Bite Out of My Bed’’ — but they don’t much alter the band’s sweet, noisy DNA. What’s on the New Pornographers’ minds these days? Without a lyric sheet, their wordy tuneage is hard to parse. Something about “Silver Jenny Dollar’’ and “Valkyrie and the Roller Disco’’ and “What Turns Up in the Dark.’’ That last title is the answer to a question: What’s love? Sounds depressing, but take comfort: In this band’s hands the cruel world feels like pure joy. (Out tomorrow) -- JOAN ANDERMAN
The New Pornographers play at the House of Blues on June 18.