The National is an American indie-rock band that has been active since 1999 to present times, and only released their last album in May 2013. “Indie” used to be a genre I liked, but recently, it has become a keyword for how non-meaningful bands with unappealing music that ‘no one has heard of’ are becoming popular. But The National is different in a lot of various ways.
The first thing that I love about the band is the voice of the lead singer, Matt Berninger. He is a baritone, a voice that I was not really familiar with in the artists that I listened to. I generally associated that kind of voice with post-pubescent breaking which resulted in most pre-adolescent kids to lose their singing talent once a year went by. But Berninger breaks no voice, but is clean, neat and heavy with his vocals.
The National albums, Alligator (2005), Boxer (2007) and High Violet (2010) were three consecutive extra-ordinary projects, the best of which was High Violet. But, the best of their albums was their most recent one, Trouble will find me. This album saw The National collaborating with artists like St. Vincent, Sharon Van Etten, Sufjan Stevens et al. I especially like the ‘hollow’ sound that I found throughout the album, and it gave their already baroque feel and even darker tone. The songs, Don’t swallow the cap and, Demons were both exceptional, and even the first track “I should live in salt” is melancholic and interesting in terms of its composition and lyrical quality. Like a lot of indie artists, their lyrics are dark and difficult to understand or interpret but there is an enigma to them (which I generally don’t like in musicians) which draws you in. It seems like that whole album is one long song with variant pauses in between breaks.
However, the one song that impressed me the most was the song that Matt Berninger sang for the TV show “Game of thrones”. This song was Rains of Castamere that any GoT fan will wince to in a second. It is surprising to me that any person could sing that low in a song. Surprisingly, the tune doesn’t do much to help us get over our misery regarding the sentiments of the show and the song.
Here is a list of songs that I think must be listened to when it comes to The National: