Wednesday, April 21, 2010
After a long, coastal hiatus - I returned to cubicle existence with a head full of inspiration. Tripping along boulders jutting out of the Pacific will do that to you. But a week of automaton immersion makes all that tidal beauty fade away - and all that inspired momentum with it.
Luckily, a dear friend sends a leaked copy of High Violet, the 5th album and Boxer followup from The National. The modular walls disappear and I'm back in the waves all over again. Music's f*cking great for that.
High Violet is an upswing but no, it can't be happy. That's just not their style. I spent a summer cross-legged on my backporch, smoking ciggs and purposefully listening to Boxer & Alligator for good reason. It's a contemplative low rumble from Matt Berninger. It's gothic and orchestral builds from the Dessner and Devendorf brothers - brass, woodwinds, strings, organs and enough guitar to flood the Sydney Opera House. There's cresting melodies and whydidn'tiwritethat lyrics like "live on coffee on flowers / try not to wonder what the weather will be."
And there isn't a skip-track in the bunch. Even if there was, cameos by Justin Vernon and Richard Reed Parry would keep your finger off the button. Guested by Sufjan Stevens, track 7 carries you on it's haunting winds and makes you pray to god you'll have the drugs to sort it out.
The National opens their spring&summer tour April 22 at, well, The National / RVA.
See you there.
The National // Afraid of Everyone