RIYL: Wolf Parade, Frightened Rabbit, TV on the Radio
Insta-buy alert! Yeah it’s $45, but 3 LPs and all the fixins. Plus i mean it’s the National, by this point you’re either a fanboy like myself or you’re not.
No idea where they’re going to take things after putting that Grammy on the shelf, but the first single sounds prettttttty prettttty good. Soo better gimme that wax.
Available to pre-order on gatefold 2x black vinyl, limited edition tri-fold deluxe 3x coloured (yellow, red, grey) vinyl, and CD.
Deluxe 3xLP is pressed on yellow, red, and grey vinyl. The third LP contains the film score of the same name on one side and an etching on the other. Includes 24 page booklet and 24" x 24" folded poster.
On 3rd September 2017, director Mike Mills emailed Matt Berninger to introduce himself and in very short order, the most ambitious project of the National‚Äôs nearly 20-year career was born and plans for a hard-earned vacation died. The Los Angeles-based filmmaker was coming off his third feature, 20th Century Women, and was interested in working with the band on... something. A video maybe. Berninger, already a fan of Mills‚Äô films, not only agreed to collaborate, he essentially handed over the keys to the band‚Äôs creative process.
The result is I Am Easy to Find, a 24-minute film by Mills starring Alicia Vikander, and I Am Easy to Find, a 68-minute album by the National. The former is not the video for the latter; the latter is not the soundtrack to the former. The two projects are, as Mills calls them, ‚ÄúPlayfully hostile siblings that love to steal from each other‚ÄĚ -- they share music and words and DNA and impulses and a vision about what it means to be human in 2019, but don‚Äôt necessarily need one another. The movie was composed like a piece of music; the music was assembled like a film, by a film director. The frontman and natural focal point was deliberately and dramatically sidestaged in favour of a variety of female voices, nearly all of whom have long been in the group‚Äôs orbit. It is unlike anything either artist has ever attempted and also totally in line with how they‚Äôve created for much of their careers.
As the album‚Äôs opening track, ‚ÄėYou Had Your Soul With You,‚Äô unfurls, it‚Äôs so far, so National: a digitally manipulated guitar line, skittering drums, Berninger‚Äôs familiar baritone, mounting tension. Then around the 2:15 mark, the true nature of I Am Easy To Find announces itself: the racket subsides, strings swell, and the voice of long-time David Bowie bandmate Gail Ann Dorsey booms out‚ÄĒnot as background vocals, not as a hook, but to take over the song. Elsewhere it‚Äôs Irish singer-songwriter Lisa Hannigan, or Sharon Van Etten, or Mina Tindle or Kate Stables of This Is the Kit, or varying combinations of them. The Brooklyn Youth Choir, whom Bryce Dessner had worked with before. There are choral arrangements and strings on nearly every track, largely put together by Bryce in Paris‚ÄĒnot a negation of the band‚Äôs dramatic tendencies, but a redistribution of them.
‚ÄúYes, there are a lot of women singing on this, but it wasn't because, ‚ÄėOh, let's have more women's voices,‚Äô says Berninger. ‚ÄúIt was more, ‚ÄėLet's have more of a fabric of people's identities.‚Äô It would have been better to have had other male singers, but my ego wouldn't let that happen."
Formats: LP | CD | Limited LP
You Had Your Soul With You
The Pull Of You
I Am Easy To Find
Her Father In The Pool
Where Is Her Head
Not In Kansas
So Far So Fast
Dust Swirls In Strange Light
- Maybe Buy
- Not My Style
- Too Expensive