I want to start by saying the album High Violet by The National is probably one of my favorite go-to’s for chillaxing and remedying artistry–along with it being Wilder Mind by Mumford & Sons and The Runaway Found by The Veils. The three seem to form an inseparable boomerang of musical inspiration. The tones, tunes, rhythms, progressions, vibes, voices…
Anyway, you can get the picture. When I found out Aaron and Bryce Dessner (of The National) were heading up the tribute to the Grateful Dead–the Day of the Dead CD collection–I instantly fell in love with the memorandum. That, and Peggy-o is just flat out an amazing song. Usually I go artist-crazy and buy every album I can of theirs once I’m hooked (as the case with Josh Garrels, Dredg, Future of Forestry, U2, and several others), I decided to wait it out. Simply knowing the contribution was led by The National gave me hope that, perhaps, they had an album stirring in the shadows.
I was right and I love it.
While tracks like “Walk It Back”, “Turtleneck” and “Sleep Well Beast” aren’t particularly my favorite, they’ve steadily grown on me (especially “Walk It Back”, though the language makes it hard to listen on repeat around the wife xD ).
It is different from High Violet and more so a melancholy backdrop of tracks. As far as the album’s topic and content, someone else has bested me in putting it and I recommend reading their review. Overall, I am glad to be a fan of The National and certainly they still remain a go-to group for something familiar, soothing, and on repeat.
If anything, give a listen to the tracks “Day I Die”, “Born To Beg”, and “Guilty Party”. At least those xD