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The National - I Am Easy to Find

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I Am Easy to Find

The National

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This eighth album from The National is refreshingly different, somewhat modifying the well-oiled mechanics of this American band. First and foremost, this is achieved through the presence of several female singers who support the leader Matt Berninger on most of the tracks. The most memorable are the performances of Gail Ann Dorsey (David Bowie’s bassist) on Had Your Soul With You, as well as the particularly poignant performances of Lisa Hannigan and Mina Tindle on So Far So East and Oblivions respectively, the latter being especially moving. Why this sudden feminine presence for an exclusively male band? It’s likely because the album was conceived after filmmaker Mike Mills asked The National to put his short film I Am Easy to Find into song form - a film which happens to be centred around a woman. It’s this relationship to images that has somewhat upended the Brooklyn band’s pop formula. There are a few references to some classics of cinema, chiefly Roman Holiday by William Wyler (1953).


But apart from the new cinematic release, fans of The National will still find the legendary melancholy of the group in both the lyrics and the music. The presence of heart-wrenching strings on all the tracks (with the exception of the staccato violins on Where Is Her Head) as well as a recurring introspective piano (notably in the beautiful Light Years) will particularly be remembered. Bryan Devendorf’s singular rhythms plays on contrasts, occasionally making striking jerks (Rylan, The Pull of You) as well as adding a sensual flair (Hairpin Turns, I Am Easy to Find). © Nicolas Magenham/Qobuz  

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I Am Easy to Find

The National

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1
You Had Your Soul With You
00:03:26

Mike Mills, Producer - Ben Russell, AssociatedPerformer - Logan Coale, AssociatedPerformer - Caleb Burhans, AssociatedPerformer - Aaron Dessner, Composer, Producer, AssociatedPerformer - The National, MainArtist - Thomas Bartlett, Composer - Gail Ann Dorsey, AssociatedPerformer - Alan Richardson, AssociatedPerformer - Matt Berninger, Producer, AssociatedPerformer - Monica Davis, AssociatedPerformer - Scott Devendorf, AssociatedPerformer - Bryan Devendorf, AssociatedPerformer - Bryce Dessner, Composer, Producer, AssociatedPerformer - Johnny Gandelsman, AssociatedPerformer - Wolfram Koessel, AssociatedPerformer - Caitlin Lynch, AssociatedPerformer - Katie Hyun, AssociatedPerformer - Andrea Lee, AssociatedPerformer - Sarah Whitney, AssociatedPerformer - Guillaume Pirard, AssociatedPerformer - Carin Besser, Lyricist - Emily Dagget Smith, AssociatedPerformer - Miranda Sielaff, AssociatedPerformer - Rachel Shapiro, AssociatedPerformer

2019 4AD Ltd 2019 4AD Ltd

2
Quiet Light
00:04:15

Mike Mills, Producer - Ben Russell, AssociatedPerformer - Logan Coale, AssociatedPerformer - Caleb Burhans, AssociatedPerformer - Aaron Dessner, Composer, Producer, AssociatedPerformer - The National, MainArtist - Alan Richardson, AssociatedPerformer - Matt Berninger, Lyricist, Producer, AssociatedPerformer - Monica Davis, AssociatedPerformer - Scott Devendorf, AssociatedPerformer - Bryan Devendorf, AssociatedPerformer - Bryce Dessner, Composer, Producer, AssociatedPerformer - Johnny Gandelsman, AssociatedPerformer - Wolfram Koessel, AssociatedPerformer - Caitlin Lynch, AssociatedPerformer - Katie Hyun, AssociatedPerformer - Andrea Lee, AssociatedPerformer - Marc Desjardins, AssociatedPerformer - Sarah Whitney, AssociatedPerformer - Guillaume Pirard, AssociatedPerformer - Domitille Gilon, AssociatedPerformer - Matthias Piccin, AssociatedPerformer - Marine Gandon, AssociatedPerformer - Pauline Hauswirth, AssociatedPerformer - Juliette Salmona, AssociatedPerformer - Sarah Chenaf, AssociatedPerformer - Grégoire Dubruel, AssociatedPerformer - Thomas Garoche, AssociatedPerformer - Arianna Tessier, AssociatedPerformer - Barbara Liepvre, AssociatedPerformer - Benachir Boukatem, AssociatedPerformer - Charlotte Juillard, AssociatedPerformer - Ella Jarrige, AssociatedPerformer - Emilie Duch Sauzeau, AssociatedPerformer - Leslie Boulin Raulet, AssociatedPerformer - Nikolai Spassov, AssociatedPerformer - Emily Dagget Smith, AssociatedPerformer - Miranda Sielaff, AssociatedPerformer - Rachel Shapiro, AssociatedPerformer

2019 4AD Ltd 2019 4AD Ltd

3
Roman Holiday
00:03:34

Mike Mills, Producer - Ben Russell, AssociatedPerformer - Logan Coale, AssociatedPerformer - Caleb Burhans, AssociatedPerformer - Aaron Dessner, Composer, Producer, AssociatedPerformer - The National, MainArtist - Gail Ann Dorsey, AssociatedPerformer - Alan Richardson, AssociatedPerformer - Matt Berninger, Lyricist, Producer, AssociatedPerformer - Monica Davis, AssociatedPerformer - Scott Devendorf, AssociatedPerformer - Bryan Devendorf, AssociatedPerformer - Bryce Dessner, Producer, AssociatedPerformer - Johnny Gandelsman, AssociatedPerformer - Wolfram Koessel, AssociatedPerformer - Caitlin Lynch, AssociatedPerformer - Katie Hyun, AssociatedPerformer - Andrea Lee, AssociatedPerformer - Sarah Whitney, AssociatedPerformer - Guillaume Pirard, AssociatedPerformer - Emily Dagget Smith, AssociatedPerformer - Miranda Sielaff, AssociatedPerformer - Rachel Shapiro, AssociatedPerformer

2019 4AD Ltd 2019 4AD Ltd

4
Oblivions
00:04:13

Joseph Brooks, Choir - Mike Mills, Producer - Ben Russell, AssociatedPerformer - Logan Coale, AssociatedPerformer - Caleb Burhans, AssociatedPerformer - Aaron Dessner, Composer, Producer, AssociatedPerformer - The National, MainArtist - Alan Richardson, AssociatedPerformer - Mina Tindle, AssociatedPerformer - Matt Berninger, Lyricist, Producer, AssociatedPerformer - Monica Davis, AssociatedPerformer - Scott Devendorf, AssociatedPerformer - Bryan Devendorf, AssociatedPerformer - Bryce Dessner, Composer, Producer, AssociatedPerformer - Johnny Gandelsman, AssociatedPerformer - Wolfram Koessel, AssociatedPerformer - Caitlin Lynch, AssociatedPerformer - Katie Hyun, AssociatedPerformer - Andrea Lee, AssociatedPerformer - Sarah Whitney, AssociatedPerformer - Guillaume Pirard, AssociatedPerformer - Natalie Hawkins, Choir - Carin Besser, Lyricist - Abigail Lienhard, Choir - Avery Soto, Choir - Emily Dagget Smith, AssociatedPerformer - Miranda Sielaff, AssociatedPerformer - Rachel Shapiro, AssociatedPerformer - Aliyah Weiss, Choir - Amayah Hutchinson, Choir - Anna Vartsaba, Choir - Clara Rosarius, Choir - Clementine Vonnegut, Choir - Cora Clum, Choir - Fannie Feynberg, Choir - Jeanne Bransbourg, Choir - Lila Hasenstab, Choir - Marianna Weaver, Choir - Maya Baijal, Choir - Maya Renaud-Levine, Choir - Maya Sequira, Choir - Morgan Colton, Choir - Raquel Klein, Choir - Sarah Sotomayor, Choir - Tatyana Sgaraglino, Choir - Thalia Glyptis, Choir

2019 4AD Ltd 2019 4AD Ltd

5
The Pull Of You
00:03:58

Mike Mills, Producer - Ben Russell, AssociatedPerformer - Lisa Hannigan, AssociatedPerformer - Logan Coale, AssociatedPerformer - Caleb Burhans, AssociatedPerformer - Aaron Dessner, Composer, Producer, AssociatedPerformer - The National, MainArtist - Sharon Van Etten, AssociatedPerformer - Alan Richardson, AssociatedPerformer - Matt Berninger, Lyricist, Producer, AssociatedPerformer - Monica Davis, AssociatedPerformer - Scott Devendorf, AssociatedPerformer - Bryan Devendorf, AssociatedPerformer - Bryce Dessner, Producer, AssociatedPerformer - Johnny Gandelsman, AssociatedPerformer - Wolfram Koessel, AssociatedPerformer - Caitlin Lynch, AssociatedPerformer - Katie Hyun, AssociatedPerformer - Andrea Lee, AssociatedPerformer - Sarah Whitney, AssociatedPerformer - Guillaume Pirard, AssociatedPerformer - Carin Besser, Lyricist - Emily Dagget Smith, AssociatedPerformer - Miranda Sielaff, AssociatedPerformer - Rachel Shapiro, AssociatedPerformer

2019 4AD Ltd 2019 4AD Ltd

6
Hey Rosey
00:04:14

Mike Mills, Producer - Ben Russell, AssociatedPerformer - Logan Coale, AssociatedPerformer - Caleb Burhans, AssociatedPerformer - Aaron Dessner, Composer, Producer, AssociatedPerformer - The National, MainArtist - Gail Ann Dorsey, AssociatedPerformer - Alan Richardson, AssociatedPerformer - Matt Berninger, Producer, AssociatedPerformer - Monica Davis, AssociatedPerformer - Scott Devendorf, AssociatedPerformer - Bryan Devendorf, AssociatedPerformer - Bryce Dessner, Producer, AssociatedPerformer - Johnny Gandelsman, AssociatedPerformer - Wolfram Koessel, AssociatedPerformer - Caitlin Lynch, AssociatedPerformer - Katie Hyun, AssociatedPerformer - Andrea Lee, AssociatedPerformer - Sarah Whitney, AssociatedPerformer - Guillaume Pirard, AssociatedPerformer - Carin Besser, Lyricist - Emily Dagget Smith, AssociatedPerformer - Miranda Sielaff, AssociatedPerformer - Rachel Shapiro, AssociatedPerformer

2019 4AD Ltd 2019 4AD Ltd

7
I Am Easy To Find
00:04:30

Joseph Brooks, Choir - Mike Mills, Producer - Ben Russell, AssociatedPerformer - Logan Coale, AssociatedPerformer - Caleb Burhans, AssociatedPerformer - Aaron Dessner, Composer, Producer, AssociatedPerformer - The National, MainArtist - Kate Stables, AssociatedPerformer - Alan Richardson, AssociatedPerformer - Matt Berninger, Lyricist, Producer, AssociatedPerformer - Monica Davis, AssociatedPerformer - Scott Devendorf, AssociatedPerformer - Bryan Devendorf, AssociatedPerformer - Bryce Dessner, Composer, Producer, AssociatedPerformer - Johnny Gandelsman, AssociatedPerformer - Wolfram Koessel, AssociatedPerformer - Caitlin Lynch, AssociatedPerformer - Katie Hyun, AssociatedPerformer - Andrea Lee, AssociatedPerformer - Sarah Whitney, AssociatedPerformer - Guillaume Pirard, AssociatedPerformer - Natalie Hawkins, Choir - Abigail Lienhard, Choir - Avery Soto, Choir - Emily Dagget Smith, AssociatedPerformer - Miranda Sielaff, AssociatedPerformer - Rachel Shapiro, AssociatedPerformer - Aliyah Weiss, Choir - Amayah Hutchinson, Choir - Anna Vartsaba, Choir - Clara Rosarius, Choir - Clementine Vonnegut, Choir - Cora Clum, Choir - Fannie Feynberg, Choir - Jeanne Bransbourg, Choir - Lila Hasenstab, Choir - Marianna Weaver, Choir - Maya Baijal, Choir - Maya Renaud-Levine, Choir - Maya Sequira, Choir - Morgan Colton, Choir - Raquel Klein, Choir - Sarah Sotomayor, Choir - Tatyana Sgaraglino, Choir - Thalia Glyptis, Choir

2019 4AD Ltd 2019 4AD Ltd

8
Her Father In The Pool
00:01:02

Joseph Brooks, Choir - Mike Mills, Producer - Ben Russell, AssociatedPerformer - Logan Coale, AssociatedPerformer - Caleb Burhans, AssociatedPerformer - Aaron Dessner, Producer - The National, MainArtist - Alan Richardson, AssociatedPerformer - Matt Berninger, Producer - Monica Davis, AssociatedPerformer - Bryce Dessner, Producer, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Johnny Gandelsman, AssociatedPerformer - Wolfram Koessel, AssociatedPerformer - Caitlin Lynch, AssociatedPerformer - Katie Hyun, AssociatedPerformer - Andrea Lee, AssociatedPerformer - Sarah Whitney, AssociatedPerformer - Guillaume Pirard, AssociatedPerformer - Natalie Hawkins, Choir - Abigail Lienhard, Choir - Avery Soto, Choir - Emily Dagget Smith, AssociatedPerformer - Miranda Sielaff, AssociatedPerformer - Rachel Shapiro, AssociatedPerformer - Aliyah Weiss, Choir - Amayah Hutchinson, Choir - Anna Vartsaba, Choir - Clara Rosarius, Choir - Clementine Vonnegut, Choir - Cora Clum, Choir - Fannie Feynberg, Choir - Jeanne Bransbourg, Choir - Lila Hasenstab, Choir - Marianna Weaver, Choir - Maya Baijal, Choir - Maya Renaud-Levine, Choir - Maya Sequira, Choir - Morgan Colton, Choir - Raquel Klein, Choir - Sarah Sotomayor, Choir - Tatyana Sgaraglino, Choir - Thalia Glyptis, Choir

2019 4AD Ltd 2019 4AD Ltd

9
Where Is Her Head
00:04:41

Mike Mills, Lyricist, Producer - Ben Russell, AssociatedPerformer - Logan Coale, AssociatedPerformer - Caleb Burhans, AssociatedPerformer - Aaron Dessner, Composer, Producer, AssociatedPerformer - The National, MainArtist - Alan Richardson, AssociatedPerformer - Matt Berninger, Lyricist, Producer, AssociatedPerformer - Monica Davis, AssociatedPerformer - Scott Devendorf, AssociatedPerformer - Bryan Devendorf, AssociatedPerformer - Bryce Dessner, Producer, AssociatedPerformer - Johnny Gandelsman, AssociatedPerformer - Wolfram Koessel, AssociatedPerformer - Caitlin Lynch, AssociatedPerformer - Katie Hyun, AssociatedPerformer - Andrea Lee, AssociatedPerformer - Sarah Whitney, AssociatedPerformer - Guillaume Pirard, AssociatedPerformer - Carin Besser, Lyricist - Eve Owen, AssociatedPerformer - Emily Dagget Smith, AssociatedPerformer - Miranda Sielaff, AssociatedPerformer - Rachel Shapiro, AssociatedPerformer

2019 4AD Ltd 2019 4AD Ltd

10
Not In Kansas
00:06:44

Mike Mills, Producer - Mark Davies, Composer - Ben Russell, AssociatedPerformer - Lisa Hannigan, AssociatedPerformer - Logan Coale, AssociatedPerformer - Caleb Burhans, AssociatedPerformer - Aaron Dessner, Composer, Producer, AssociatedPerformer - The National, MainArtist - Kate Stables, AssociatedPerformer - Gail Ann Dorsey, AssociatedPerformer - Alan Richardson, AssociatedPerformer - Matt Berninger, Lyricist, Producer, AssociatedPerformer - Monica Davis, AssociatedPerformer - Scott Devendorf, AssociatedPerformer - Bryan Devendorf, AssociatedPerformer - Bryce Dessner, Producer, AssociatedPerformer - Johnny Gandelsman, AssociatedPerformer - Wolfram Koessel, AssociatedPerformer - Caitlin Lynch, AssociatedPerformer - Katie Hyun, AssociatedPerformer - Andrea Lee, AssociatedPerformer - Sarah Whitney, AssociatedPerformer - Guillaume Pirard, AssociatedPerformer - Anne Eickelberg, Composer - Brian Hageman, Composer - Hugh Swarts, Composer - Jay Paget, Composer - Emily Dagget Smith, AssociatedPerformer - Miranda Sielaff, AssociatedPerformer - Rachel Shapiro, AssociatedPerformer

2019 4AD Ltd 2019 4AD Ltd

11
So Far So Fast
00:06:36

Joseph Brooks, Choir - Mike Mills, Producer - Lisa Hannigan, AssociatedPerformer - Aaron Dessner, Composer, Producer, AssociatedPerformer - The National, MainArtist - Matt Berninger, Lyricist, Producer, AssociatedPerformer - Scott Devendorf, AssociatedPerformer - Bryan Devendorf, AssociatedPerformer - Bryce Dessner, Composer, Producer, AssociatedPerformer - Marc Desjardins, AssociatedPerformer - Domitille Gilon, AssociatedPerformer - Matthias Piccin, AssociatedPerformer - Natalie Hawkins, Choir - Marine Gandon, AssociatedPerformer - Pauline Hauswirth, AssociatedPerformer - Juliette Salmona, AssociatedPerformer - Sarah Chenaf, AssociatedPerformer - Grégoire Dubruel, AssociatedPerformer - Thomas Garoche, AssociatedPerformer - Abigail Lienhard, Choir - Avery Soto, Choir - Arianna Tessier, AssociatedPerformer - Barbara Liepvre, AssociatedPerformer - Benachir Boukatem, AssociatedPerformer - Charlotte Juillard, AssociatedPerformer - Ella Jarrige, AssociatedPerformer - Emilie Duch Sauzeau, AssociatedPerformer - Leslie Boulin Raulet, AssociatedPerformer - Nikolai Spassov, AssociatedPerformer - Aliyah Weiss, Choir - Amayah Hutchinson, Choir - Anna Vartsaba, Choir - Clara Rosarius, Choir - Clementine Vonnegut, Choir - Cora Clum, Choir - Fannie Feynberg, Choir - Jeanne Bransbourg, Choir - Lila Hasenstab, Choir - Marianna Weaver, Choir - Maya Baijal, Choir - Maya Renaud-Levine, Choir - Maya Sequira, Choir - Morgan Colton, Choir - Raquel Klein, Choir - Sarah Sotomayor, Choir - Tatyana Sgaraglino, Choir - Thalia Glyptis, Choir

2019 4AD Ltd 2019 4AD Ltd

12
Dust Swirls In Strange Light
00:03:18

Joseph Brooks, Choir - Mike Mills, Lyricist, Producer - Ben Russell, AssociatedPerformer - Logan Coale, AssociatedPerformer - Caleb Burhans, AssociatedPerformer - Aaron Dessner, Producer, AssociatedPerformer - The National, MainArtist - Alan Richardson, AssociatedPerformer - Matt Berninger, Producer, AssociatedPerformer - Monica Davis, AssociatedPerformer - Scott Devendorf, AssociatedPerformer - Bryan Devendorf, AssociatedPerformer - Bryce Dessner, Composer, Producer, AssociatedPerformer - Johnny Gandelsman, AssociatedPerformer - Wolfram Koessel, AssociatedPerformer - Caitlin Lynch, AssociatedPerformer - Katie Hyun, AssociatedPerformer - Andrea Lee, AssociatedPerformer - Sarah Whitney, AssociatedPerformer - Guillaume Pirard, AssociatedPerformer - Natalie Hawkins, Choir - Abigail Lienhard, Choir - Avery Soto, Choir - Emily Dagget Smith, AssociatedPerformer - Miranda Sielaff, AssociatedPerformer - Rachel Shapiro, AssociatedPerformer - Aliyah Weiss, Choir - Amayah Hutchinson, Choir - Anna Vartsaba, Choir - Clara Rosarius, Choir - Clementine Vonnegut, Choir - Cora Clum, Choir - Fannie Feynberg, Choir - Jeanne Bransbourg, Choir - Lila Hasenstab, Choir - Marianna Weaver, Choir - Maya Baijal, Choir - Maya Renaud-Levine, Choir - Maya Sequira, Choir - Morgan Colton, Choir - Raquel Klein, Choir - Sarah Sotomayor, Choir - Tatyana Sgaraglino, Choir - Thalia Glyptis, Choir

2019 4AD Ltd 2019 4AD Ltd

13
Hairpin Turns
00:04:27

Mike Mills, Producer - Lisa Hannigan, AssociatedPerformer - Aaron Dessner, Composer, Producer, AssociatedPerformer - The National, MainArtist - Gail Ann Dorsey, AssociatedPerformer - Matt Berninger, Lyricist, Producer, AssociatedPerformer - Scott Devendorf, AssociatedPerformer - Bryan Devendorf, AssociatedPerformer - Bryce Dessner, Composer, Producer, AssociatedPerformer - Carin Besser, Lyricist

2019 4AD Ltd 2019 4AD Ltd

14
Rylan
00:03:43

Joseph Brooks, Choir - Mike Mills, Producer - Aaron Dessner, Composer, Producer, AssociatedPerformer - The National, MainArtist - Kate Stables, AssociatedPerformer - Matt Berninger, Lyricist, Producer, AssociatedPerformer - Scott Devendorf, AssociatedPerformer - Bryan Devendorf, AssociatedPerformer - Bryce Dessner, Producer, AssociatedPerformer - Natalie Hawkins, Choir - Abigail Lienhard, Choir - Avery Soto, Choir - Aliyah Weiss, Choir - Amayah Hutchinson, Choir - Anna Vartsaba, Choir - Clara Rosarius, Choir - Clementine Vonnegut, Choir - Cora Clum, Choir - Fannie Feynberg, Choir - Jeanne Bransbourg, Choir - Lila Hasenstab, Choir - Marianna Weaver, Choir - Maya Baijal, Choir - Maya Renaud-Levine, Choir - Maya Sequira, Choir - Morgan Colton, Choir - Raquel Klein, Choir - Sarah Sotomayor, Choir - Tatyana Sgaraglino, Choir - Thalia Glyptis, Choir

2019 4AD Ltd 2019 4AD Ltd

15
Underwater
00:01:21

Joseph Brooks, Choir - Mike Mills, Producer - Ben Russell, AssociatedPerformer - Logan Coale, AssociatedPerformer - Caleb Burhans, AssociatedPerformer - Aaron Dessner, Producer - The National, MainArtist - Alan Richardson, AssociatedPerformer - Matt Berninger, Producer - Monica Davis, AssociatedPerformer - Bryce Dessner, Composer, Producer, AssociatedPerformer - Johnny Gandelsman, AssociatedPerformer - Wolfram Koessel, AssociatedPerformer - Caitlin Lynch, AssociatedPerformer - Katie Hyun, AssociatedPerformer - Andrea Lee, AssociatedPerformer - Sarah Whitney, AssociatedPerformer - Guillaume Pirard, AssociatedPerformer - Natalie Hawkins, Choir - Abigail Lienhard, Choir - Avery Soto, Choir - Emily Dagget Smith, AssociatedPerformer - Miranda Sielaff, AssociatedPerformer - Rachel Shapiro, AssociatedPerformer - Aliyah Weiss, Choir - Amayah Hutchinson, Choir - Anna Vartsaba, Choir - Clara Rosarius, Choir - Clementine Vonnegut, Choir - Cora Clum, Choir - Fannie Feynberg, Choir - Jeanne Bransbourg, Choir - Lila Hasenstab, Choir - Marianna Weaver, Choir - Maya Baijal, Choir - Maya Renaud-Levine, Choir - Maya Sequira, Choir - Morgan Colton, Choir - Raquel Klein, Choir - Sarah Sotomayor, Choir - Tatyana Sgaraglino, Choir - Thalia Glyptis, Choir

2019 4AD Ltd 2019 4AD Ltd

16
Light Years
00:03:33

Mike Mills, Producer - Ben Russell, AssociatedPerformer - Logan Coale, AssociatedPerformer - Caleb Burhans, AssociatedPerformer - Aaron Dessner, Composer, Producer, AssociatedPerformer - The National, MainArtist - Alan Richardson, AssociatedPerformer - Matt Berninger, Lyricist, Producer, AssociatedPerformer - Monica Davis, AssociatedPerformer - Scott Devendorf, AssociatedPerformer - Bryan Devendorf, AssociatedPerformer - Bryce Dessner, Producer, AssociatedPerformer - Johnny Gandelsman, AssociatedPerformer - Wolfram Koessel, AssociatedPerformer - Caitlin Lynch, AssociatedPerformer - Katie Hyun, AssociatedPerformer - Andrea Lee, AssociatedPerformer - Sarah Whitney, AssociatedPerformer - Guillaume Pirard, AssociatedPerformer - Emily Dagget Smith, AssociatedPerformer - Miranda Sielaff, AssociatedPerformer - Rachel Shapiro, AssociatedPerformer

2019 4AD Ltd 2019 4AD Ltd

Album Description

This eighth album from The National is refreshingly different, somewhat modifying the well-oiled mechanics of this American band. First and foremost, this is achieved through the presence of several female singers who support the leader Matt Berninger on most of the tracks. The most memorable are the performances of Gail Ann Dorsey (David Bowie’s bassist) on Had Your Soul With You, as well as the particularly poignant performances of Lisa Hannigan and Mina Tindle on So Far So East and Oblivions respectively, the latter being especially moving. Why this sudden feminine presence for an exclusively male band? It’s likely because the album was conceived after filmmaker Mike Mills asked The National to put his short film I Am Easy to Find into song form - a film which happens to be centred around a woman. It’s this relationship to images that has somewhat upended the Brooklyn band’s pop formula. There are a few references to some classics of cinema, chiefly Roman Holiday by William Wyler (1953).


But apart from the new cinematic release, fans of The National will still find the legendary melancholy of the group in both the lyrics and the music. The presence of heart-wrenching strings on all the tracks (with the exception of the staccato violins on Where Is Her Head) as well as a recurring introspective piano (notably in the beautiful Light Years) will particularly be remembered. Bryan Devendorf’s singular rhythms plays on contrasts, occasionally making striking jerks (Rylan, The Pull of You) as well as adding a sensual flair (Hairpin Turns, I Am Easy to Find). © Nicolas Magenham/Qobuz  

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