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Alternative & Indie - Released May 17, 2019 | 4AD

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama
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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Alternative & Indie - Released March 2, 2018 | 4AD

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama
Internal feuds and heroin in the crook of the arm of her twin didn’t rattle the more relaxed female rocker: Kim Deal. Nirvana with boobs and with ballsy grunge, the Breeders kindled the indie rock scene by reminding people that even if there wasn’t anyone to welcome them, there was a feminine scene. Imploding in 1993 after the aptly named Last Splash, the quartet saw Kim go back to the Pixies when Kelley went into rehab. Two other albums, Title TK in 2002 and Mountain Battles in 2008, reminded us that the beast could still move… Since a concert in 2013 brought back the hope of a reunion, the two sisters, the bass player Josephine Wiggs and the drummer Jim MacPherson went back to the studio for All Nerve. Grunge entanglement resuscitating from the rough nineties, this lightning opus (33 minutes) blasts a tried and tested formula. If the dirty guitar-bass-drums and vocal distortions recipe doesn’t cause the Cannonball effect that made their success, All Nerve carries the mark of the painful decades that followed. As proof, the distorted ballads Space Woman, Dawn: Making An Effort, Blues At The Acropolis. It is dark and nervous. © Charlotte Saintoin/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released May 6, 2013 | 4AD

Distinctions 4F de Télérama - 5/6 de Magic - Pitchfork: Best New Music

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