The National – a little post about why I like them.

April 9, 2013

I’m 32. Far too old to be a fangirl. Far, far too old. I’ve spent many years obsessing over bands and spending all my spare cash on buying music, going to gigs and ransacking merchandise tables. You’d think I would have grown out of it by now…but I haven’t.


The National at Electric Picnic 2010.
Taken by me in the front row.

There is one main band that I consider worth expending my fangirl energy on and that is The National. This group of Ohio born Brooklyn residents have had me enthralled since I first heard them around June 2007.

I had read about their 4th album, Boxer, and had heard it cited as one of Paul Smith from Maximo Park’s favourite albums (I was/am a big fan) and thought I would pick it up. I still remember the first time I heard it. I was sitting on the sofa in our old house and reading the lyrics as Matt Berninger sang them. I fell in love almost immediately. The dark, frank yet strangely beautiful lyrics combined with the layered sound and driving drums make for an awesome sound. iTunes call it ‘sadcore’. I call it brilliant. We duly purchased the back catalogue and the obsession commenced.

The National have soundtracked some pretty special moments in our lifeĀ  – ‘Slow Show‘ was the first dance at our wedding and I can clearly remember being in the full throes of labour with my son, hearing ‘Lit Up’ come on my playlist and focussing on it to help me through a contraction . Their artwork takes pride of place in our living room. Putting on their albums is comforting to me as I know every word inside out. We’ve introduced many friends to the band who have all joined in our love for them and have accompanied us to a few of the gigs we’ve been to. We’ve seen them 4 times to date and will make it 5 this November when they play the Odyssey. They’ve come a long way since we saw them in the Spring and Airbrake 7 years ago. If you’re into intelligent, mature, uplifting (yes, really they can be uplifting sometimes!) , goddamn magnificent music then get tickets, which are out on Friday. Their new album Trouble Will Find Me will be released on May 20th.

My top 10 National songs (although this changes on a weekly basis!):

1. Slow Slow (Boxer)
2.Apartment Story (Boxer)
3.Conversation 16 (High Violet)
4.Lucky You (Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers)
5.Mr. November (Alligator)
6.All the Wine (Alligator)
7.Bloodbuzz Ohio (High Violet)
8.Exile Vilify (single)
9.Mistake for Strangers (Boxer)
10.Available (Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers)

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