The National overflow with heavy emotion
Somethingyousaid.com’s Jack Colwell gives the sixth studio release from American art-rock band, The National a spin.
Taking its cue’s where 2010’s LP High Violet left off, their latest release feels like an extension of the pain and anguish that coloured their previous efforts, only with a little more light amidst the darker moments.
Sonically, The National continues to do what we have come to expect; each member turning inwards to focus on the somber, broader moments rather than indulging in excessive melodic punches. Amongst tracks like Demons and Don’t Swallow the Cap, which see the band edging ever so close to a ‘U2’ Stadium Rock vibe, are deep cut gems like Pink Rabbits and Fireproof that ooze a sense of quiet reflection and space that many musicians attempt their entire lives to craft.
Matt Berninger’s pensive Baritone – clearer and reaching new heights since quitting smoking – acts as the glue holding the instrumentation together. On lines such as ‘I have only two emotions / careful fear and dead devotion’ Berninger carefully pulls apart memory, if only to look at it for a glimmering moment before tossing it back into the ocean from which it came.
With a long list of collaborators (Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Parry, Doveman, Sufjan Stevens, St Vincent, Sharon Van Etten, Dark Dark Dark’s Nona Marie Invie) Trouble Will Find Me is cleverly crafted, it’s additions crawling seamlessly, almost hidden, between the soft layers of sound.
A weighty record full of overflowing heavy emotion, skirting-despair and unbridled lust, this is a set of songs that will both wrap their arms around you and squeeze you for every last tear, before singing you to a restless slumber.
A definite highlight of 2013.
Review by Jack Colwell.