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kidajh86. BEST OF 2019 #21: The National - I Am Easy To Find (4AD)

It was a Tue

BEST OF 2019 #21: The National - I Am Easy To Find (4AD) It was a Tuesday night in August, the first of two shows by The National at the Glasgow Bandstand, and it was absolutely pissing it down. Hoods were up for as far as the eye could see; people’s pints - one in each hand - cruelly diluted by the relentless rainwater. Matt Berninger, dressed immaculately as ever, came out and gave a “bloody weather, eh? What ya gonna do?“ shrug, before applauding everyone for braving the downpour. Within minutes, he was out for his first of many customary staggers through the crowd; when he finally emerged back on stage he was wearing an aluminous yellow poncho: he was one of us. Not many bands would choose to open a special outdoor gig with four tracks from their just-released new album, but The National have never shied away from such decisions: as a way of keeping it fresh and interesting for themselves, perhaps, but also as an acknowledgement that their new material is often the equal of what’s come before. Few bands now have a deeper, more consistent discography than The National. By the time, the twitchy The Pull Of You gave way to the gorgeous Hey Rosey, the whole Glasgow crowd was onboard; it even, temporarily, stopped raining. While Berninger has a rare gift for making the cryptic and the specific strangely universal, his work can be guilty of myopia. I Am Easy To Find, the band’s most collaborative effort to date, feels like an attempt to address this: Berninger’s wife Carin had even more lyrical input than she did on Sleep Well Beast, musician friends provided snippets of music which then became part of the larger sound-bed, and we got a host of fabulous female voices (Kate Stables, Sharon Van Etten, Lisa Hannigan, Eve Owen and the revelatory Gail Ann Dorsey) supplying new perspectives, soulful counterpoints. The album is designed to be one into which you slowly lower yourself; the immaculate production fashions a radiant sadness and stillness. Its backend is packed full of classics, new (Hairpin Turns, Light Years, Not In Kansas) and old (after ten years as a live highlight and fan favourite, the band finally nailed down a studio arrangement for Rylan).

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One of my favorite songs this year is “Not in Kansas” by @thenational. The song for me is a perfect existential stream-of-consciousness rumination on the larger anxieties of life in 2019. This illustration is inspired by the last verse of “Not in Kansas,” which they borrowed from the 1994 song “Noble Experiment” by Thinking Fellers Union Local 282. Swipe for the lyrics.

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Um concerto memorável dos The National no Campo Pequeno. #thenationalband #thenational #iameasytofindtour #campopequenolisbon #iameasytofind

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Um concerto memorável dos The National no Campo Pequeno. #thenationalband #thenational #iameasytofindtour #campopequenolisbon #iameasytofind

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bennnnn. Favorite albums of 2019 - 1. The National - I Am Easy To Find. This se

Favorite albums of 2019 - 1. The National - I Am Easy To Find. This seems like the most duh pick for me, right? But the funny thing is, I wasn’t sure that would be the case. When I heard this album was going to contain a bunch of new voices other than Matt’s I was worried cause he’s such a big draw to this band for me. But within a few listens, the world of this album opened up and now I believe many of these songs wouldn’t be the same without the new vocalists. You’ve got top tier talent from Gail Ann Dorsey, Lisa Hannigan, Eve Owen, Kate Stables, Mina Tindle, and even a brief spoken word part from Sharon Van Etten. And all their various styles of singing contribute incredible counterpoints to Matt’s trademark baritone. They’re utilized in duets beautifully, but when they get chances to shine on their own is when this LP hits new heights. The band as a unit are also just at the top of their game, with richly layered melodies, punching things up on songs like Rylan and taking them all the way down to spacey atmospherics on So Far So Fast. And even though the individual songs are incredibly strong, this LP nails the album format with a fully cohesive moment from start to finish and overall thematic idea that floors me. No other album in 2019 spoke to me as much as this one. No other one had these types of dynamics, where the band can pull in so many collaborators but still sound like themselves. It’s not a safe album for The National, and I’m shocked people have seemingly forgotten its existence by now. This is a band that is still churning out new ideas and experiments and executing them to purely enjoyable perfection. This has the biggest one two punch of standout songs of the year, and biggest risks for The National, in Where Is Her Head and Not In Kansas. It also contains some of the most moving and deeply rewarding sounds I experienced this year. Thank you, The National and co. for making this year much brighter. Fave tracks: Quiet Light, Oblivions, Hey Rosey, I Am Easy To Find, Where Is Her Head, Not In Kansas, So Far So Fast, Rylan, Light Years. . . . . . . . . . . . . . #topalbums2019 #bestalbumsof2019 #thenational #iameasytofind #vinyl #vinylrecords

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"Change your mind and nothing changes Don't let show any emotion" Rylan, The National ❤️ #thenational #iameasytofind #music #love #happy #happiness #lights #photo #photography #city #lisbon #instagood #fun #igers #friends #celebration

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Last show, last song of this year. The National | 12th December 2019 | Campo Pequeno Lisbon. #THENATIONAL #AARONDESSNER #CAMPOPEQUENO

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pokenewcastle. POKE ALBUMS OF THE YEAR:

POKE ALBUMS OF THE YEAR: 1️⃣2️⃣ THE NATIONAL - I AM EASY TO FIND . There's a pleasing number of female artists featuring in our Top 20 this year, so you may think that this album represents the first proper 'male' band in our list, right? Well actually, the thing that elevates this album from being 'just another solid album by The National' is the presence throughout of a whole cast of female voices, from Kate Stables, Sharon van Etten, Lisa Hannigan and Bowie's former bassist Gail Ann Dorsey, that offer up a wonderfully beguiling counter-perspective to Matt Berninger's celebrated misanthropic, romantic down-and-out schtick. At 16 tracks long, it is a bit bloated and things do get a tad dull, temporarily, around the half way mark as a result, but they successfully redeem themselves from moody self-indulgence with the excellent 'Rylan' towards the end of what is, ultimately, a beautifully moving collection of love songs for people who don't really like love songs. . #albumsoftheyear #albumsof2019 #thenational #iameasytofind #indierock #indie #music #pokenewcastle #poke #queerindiedisco

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franklovesvinyl. T h e  N a t i o n a l

One of my favorite bands did their most self-c

T h e N a t i o n a l One of my favorite bands did their most self-complacence album of their awesome career. This is for them. And also for the fans. Those fans that appreciate the complexity of their songs, their different structures, the lyrics and the deep textures. The piano and the odd guitar riffs. The 70+ minutes, the art, the movie that inspire this whole album, Carrie the wife writing for female singers instead of his baritone-husband, the best frontman nowadays to be fair. The superb women whose collaborations in lots of songs are perfect. A great album that will age like a great wine. I had the chance to watch them with my wife and it was a highlight of the year. A band that keeps evolving, that keeps growing as musicians and poets, that has been on the road for the past 3 years non stop. I am fan. The National - I Am Easy To Find #thenational #iameasytofind #top19of2019 #flvbest #aoty2019

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jamnesiac. she just wants to be popular culture 

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Grande concerto dos The National. Obrigado pelos bilhetes a quem de direito... as melhoras! #thenational #lisboa #iameasytofind #campopequeno #blackandwhite

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I finally saw my favourite sad boys @TheNational on Monday and wanted to commemorate the trip somehow. It was a lovely end to a rubbish year. (The lyrics are from Slow Show — my favourite performance on the night.) [A special thanks goes out to all the shutterbugs that took the original shots, btw. Please let me know if I’ve neglected to credit you with a tag?! Social media won’t cooperate with my reverse image searches!]

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Well that was a hell of a roller-coaster of a concert. Being asked by Matt, thrown away somewhere by him. Being at the keyboards, and then thrown with a pretty big flight to the opposite side of where I was supposed to be. But I survived, and it was awesome. After all, I am easy to find 🐸 Mr. Matt Berninger, you are indeed awesome! We shall meet again next year, ready for round three? Bless the astronauts 🌕🎶🎸🙌❤️ #mickeythefrog #thenational #iameasytofind #ineedmyfrog #dayidie #concerts #livemusic #campopequeno #lisbon #livingthefroglife #mickeyonstage #thefrogonlysleepsintotaldarkness

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Tanta energia, tanto sentimento, e mesmo com tantas vezes que vêem cá, será sempre lindo. E está não foi excepção. Sempre um prazer @thenational 🎶🎸❤️ #thenational #iameasytofind #campopequeno #concerts #livemusic #lisbon

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The National || Campo Pequeno, Lisbon, Portugal || 12.12.2019 - Looking for Astranauts #thenational #iameasytofind #campopequeno #lisboa #Lisbon #portugal 🇵🇹

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