You Tell Me Where

Album: Brill Bruisers (2014)

Songfacts®:

  • This song was inspired by an a capella version of Neil Young's "After The Gold Rush," by the English group Prelude, which was a hit in the early 1970s. The New Pornagraphers' A.C. Newman told Spin magazine: "It's got this thick wall of harmonies, which I kept coming back to when we were doing the song."

    Once ["You Tell Me Where"] gets to the halfway point, the vocals just go crazy," he added: "It's me and Kathryn [Calder] and Neko [Case] and Kelly Hogan, and it becomes this wall. I thought, 'I want it to sound like this crazy '70s choir.'"
  • Another inspiration for the song was Scott Miller, the late mainman of 1980s power pop band Game Theory, who passed away in 2013. "His sense of melody and songwriting had a big influence on me," Newman told Spin. "People have said that they think I'm influenced by Big Star, but really I'm more influenced by Game Theory, who were influenced by Big Star. I got it in my head that I would try to write something that musically was a tip of the hat to Game Theory, and that was 'You Tell Me Where.'"

    "It started out like, 'I'm gonna write something like Game Theory,'" he added. "Then it gets to the point where I'm saying, 'Now I want this to sound like an a cappella group from the '70s.' You don't finish songs like this, but it's a good way to start songs."

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