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"Challengers" continues The New Pornographer's signature multi-layered sound with greater epic sweep and wider sonic diversity. Less frenetically jaunty than its predecessors but still encapsulating pure summer joy, this album will impress the existing fans and convert the uninitiated. Recorded for the first time largely outside bassist John Collins' Vancouver JC/DC Studio, "Challengers" is their most organic-sounding record, reflecting a conscious decision to use less 'beepy synth' and almost entirely 'real' instruments (in addition to those listed above, they recruited an entire string section – who have played with Sufjan Stevens - plus harp, flute, and more).