Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Return of The National - High Violet

After they shattered all expectations with 2007's imperious Boxer, The National return on May 11th with new LP High Violet and this, the latest track to be debuted from it, is the greatest indicator yet that they're set to repeat such a feat. Expectations for High Violet have been climbing steadily since the first details emerged in early 2008 and the band's appearance on the Jimmy Fallon show, coupled with the subsequent leaks, have helped ensure High Violet's status as one of the most anticipated album's of the year. 

'Afraid of Everyone' bears all the hallmarks of The National's greatest output thus far, as an understated riff slowly builds beneath Matt Berninger's hallmark baritone. Amid a swirling mesh of gun fire drums and Sufjan Stevens swooping backing the track then builds delightfully into a deafening crescendo of fear and self-doubt as Berninger makes a series of strikingly impassioned pleas. This is The National at their very best and yet undoubtedly also their very darkest, as lyrically the ominous tones which have characterised much of their previous work shine through once more. Despite this, one could never accuse the subject matter of being trite in nature, and as Berninger emphatically proclaims, "I don't have the drugs to sort this out", one can't help but feel stirred. 

Full of macabre imagery and drenched in self-deprecation, this is a rousing retort to the cracks in the world, reinforcing The National's status as one of the most important bands in the world. To hear a band of such intelligence and quality at the peak of their game is a true joy and in a fair world the incredible rousing finale of "Your voice is swallowing my soul" would be this summer's most unlikely festival anthem. Roll on May 11th...

1 comment:

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    Hi Bryano,

    On behalf of Beggars, 4AD and The National many thanks for plugging "High Violet" on your site (street date 11th May) ... .. thanks, also, on behalf of the label, management and artist for not posting any pirate links to unreleased (studio) material and, if you / your readers want good quality, non-pirated, preview tracks, then a full length, high quality version of "BloodBuzz Ohio" (along with artwork) is available for fans and bloggers to link to / post / host etc from the band’s site at www.americanmary.com and “Afraid of Everyone” is now also available via Soundcloud.com ... .. for further details of the new album, on-line promotions, videos and 2010 shows, check-out the official site, as well as the band's MySpace at www.myspace.com/thenational and YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/beggars ... .. and keep an eye on these official sources for details of further news, preview material and on-line promotions.

    Thanks again for your plug.