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A.C. Newman Rides Submarine in Sweden


New Pornographers leader A.C. Newman released his second solo album, Get Guilty, last week. One its best tracks is “Submarines of Stockholm” (below), a power-pop number about a disorenting trip to Sweden. He explains:

“When the New Pornographers were touring [behind 2007’s Challengers], I woke up on the bus in Stockholm. It was very disorienting because we were parked on the end of a pier,” Newman tells of the song’s inspiration. “So when I looked up from the bus, it just seemed like, ‘Why am I surrounded by water?’ I couldn’t see land, like we were floating on water. Sometimes there are weird moments in your life where your head takes a snapshot for some reason, and you can’t shake them. That morphed into ‘Submarines of Stockholm.'”

The song’s most memorable lyric — “Few have the luxury of B-sides / I’ve got buckets full” — is an different story entirely: “It’s the whole idea of being able to compartmentalize your life in a way that you can’t in real life,” Newman says. “If you’re making a record or a song and you screwed it up, you can make it a B-side. It’s trickier to do that with the events of your life.”

Listen: A.C. Newman, “Submarines of Stockholm”