The National are back with new single ‘You Had Your Soul With You’ from their new album ‘I Am Easy To Find’. Check it out along with the new album trailer below.
After it emerged last week that they had reportedly finished work mixing their upcoming eighth album, the band further excited fans by sharing a studio photo revealing potential new track names.
Now they’ve dropped the first taster of new material with ‘You Had Your Soul With You’ – a steady and sombre number that picks up the mantle from 2017’s acclaimed ‘Sleep Well Beast‘ with added elements of subtle bubbling electronica and swooping cinematic arrangements. The song also features guest vocals from longtime David Bowie collaborator Gail Ann Dorsey.
The rest of the album features Lisa Hannigan, Sharon Van Etten, Mina Tindle, Kate Stables of This Is The Kit and The Brooklyn Youth Choir.
“Yes, there are a lot of women singing on this, but it wasn’t because, ‘Oh, let’s have more women’s voices,'” said frontman Matt Berninger. “It was more, ‘Let’s have more of a fabric of people’s identities.’ It would have been better to have had other male singers, but my ego wouldn’t let that happen.”
‘I Am Easy To Find’ set to arrive on May 17. Pre-order it here. The album comes with a teaser trailer for a short film made by Mike Mills, backed by the song ‘Rylan’. Check out both below.
“We are very excited to announce ‘I Am Easy To Find’, a short film directed by Mike Mills starring Alicia Vikander, and ‘I Am Easy To Find’, our new album out May 17 on 4AD,” said the band in a statement. “The former is not the video for the latter; the latter is not the soundtrack to the former.”
The film is 24 minutes long while the album is 68 minutes.
Mills describes the projects as “playfully hostile siblings that love to steal from each other.”
A press release reads: “The movie was composed like a piece of music; the music was assembled like a film, by a film director. The frontman and natural focal point was deliberately and dramatic sidestaged in favour of a variety of female voices, nearly all of whom have long been in the group’s orbit. It is unlike anything either artist has ever attempted and also totally in line with how they’ve created for much of their careers.
The tracklist of ‘I Am Easy To Find’ is:
1. You Had Your Soul With You
2. Quiet Light
3. Roman Holiday
5. The Pull Of You
6. Hey Rosey
7. I Am Easy To Find
8. Her Father In The Pool
9. Where Is Her Head
10. Not In Kansas
11. So Far So Fast
12. Dust Swirls In Strange Light
13. Hairpin Turns
16. Light Years
Among the tracklist, two have been performed before. ‘Rylan’ has long been a fan favourite rarity but returned to their live set last year, while ‘Light Years’ was also roadtested on their 2018 world tour.
Check out both songs below.
Speaking to NME for The Big Read in 2018, the band confirmed that they were taking a new approach to new material.
The band said the new record would be partly made up from material garnered from ‘Sleep Well Beast’ sessions and partly something completely different.
Drummer Bryan Devendorf described their next effort as a “departure record” – and then some. “It’s going to be more than just a record,” he continued. “The other material that’s accompanying it is basically inspiring the record. It’s a collaborative project. I’ve said too much already…
“It’s not a big deal, it’s just different to everything else we’ve done. There’s a new element to it. That’s why Matt is rewriting everything.”
Berninger went on to add that the subject matter of his songs are usually the same. Adding, “What else are people thinking about other than sex, death and losing?”
The band recently announced that they’ll be playing a run of ‘intimate’ special shows in April, including a date in London.
The band will then return to the UK where they’ll be playing with Florence and The Machine at Hyde Park as part of British Summer Time, before their own headline slots at Castlefield Bowl in Manchester and Kelvingrove Bandstand in Glasgow. Elsewhere, they’re set to play Mad Cool festival in Madrid.