The National "Trouble Will find Me" reviewed on Northern Transmissions

Brooklyn-based indie rock boys The National are to release their sixth album titled Trouble Will Find Me out on 4AD this month. The album was self produced and mixed by Craig Silvey (Arcade Fire, Portishead, REM) with “Self Love” mixed by Peter Katis, who worked with the band on previous albums Alligator, High Violet and Boxer at Clubhouse studio in New York. There is an abundance of talented guests starring on Trouble Will Find Me including St Vincent, Sharon Van Etten, Sufjan Stevens and Richard Reed Parry of Arcade Fire.

Frontman Matt Berninger said of the album in a release: “For the past 10 years we’d been chasing something, wanting to prove something. And this chase was about trying to disprove our own insecurities. After touring High Violet, I think we felt like we’d finally gotten there. Now we could relax– not in terms of our own expectations but we didn’t have to prove our identity any longer.” Whilst Aaron Dessner, the band’s guitarist, said “our ideas would immediately click with each other. It’s free-wheeling again. The songs on one level are our most complex, and on another they’re our most simple and human. It just feels like we’ve embraced the chemistry we have.”

I Should Live In Salt” opens with baritone lead singer Berninger stating; “Don’t make me read your mind, you should know me better than that, it takes me too much time, you should know me better than that” and slow paced guitar track with The National’s classic melancholy sound. “Demons” a released single from the album, follows the first track with a confession: “I am secretly in love with everyone I grew up with” and another sombre message “I stay down, with my demons” which repeats with the melody.

Don’t Swallow The Cap”, the second single from the release, picks up the pace before “Fireproof” opens with a beautiful mix of piano and soft guitar, it’s a deeply evocative song about a girl called Jennifer; “Nothing breaks your heart, you’re fireproof”. “Sea Of Love” has a great energy to it, it builds steadily and also features the lyrics that match the album’s title; “If I stay here, trouble will find me, if I stay here I’ll never leave”. It was the first song on the album with a video released.

Graceless” is a pushing, forward facing track whilst “Slipped” shows the new place The National are in, it feels like a really natural, relaxed song full of emotion and clarity. Closing song “Hard To Find” is another stand out track, confident, emotional and free. Seems The National have still got that chemistry. Watch out for the release of the documentary titled Mistaken for Strangers, which chronicles the lead singer’s brother Tom Berninger’s journey of touring with the band.

Reviewed by Heather Welsh.


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