I Am Easy to Find

With a far less ambitious album, ‘I Am Easy to Find’, The National delivers their best work yet!
It is slow with a few quick successive patterns of rhythmic progression and in the end it makes it easier to find the true gravitas of a 20-years-old band.

Think about the track, ‘Mistaken for Strangers’, in the band’s 2007 album ‘Boxer’. Only eight years into their professional music life the American indie band had poured in their subtly defined elegant style. Setting up a mood that is often relatable to a winter afternoon, The National, has ever since become the patrician in indie rock music. Matt Berninger’s hefty vocals served as the most ponderous element of their music, and it continues to do so in ‘I Am Easy To Find’. Only this time The National has easily outdone themselves.

Far less ambitious than the preceding album, ‘Sleep Well Beast’, where their music was experimenting with everything that is restrained, intimate and patient, ‘I Am Easy To Find’ is at its best pensive. Perhaps most intimate in context to storytelling and a far cry from their slow-burning wrath which quietly seeped into previous albums like ‘Trouble Will Find Me’ and ‘High Violet’, this is precisely where The National has proved itself as a musician all grown-up. This is also where The National stands patiently with excellence as the top most priority in a generation of listless musicians.

At this point, being 20-years-old, the band has delivered eight albums which by industry standards is too less. However, following the old-school pattern where less quantity and more quality serves as the ruling factor, ‘I Am Easy Find To Find’ serves as a more ethereal sibling to ‘Sleep Well Beast’. In this 16-track long album, it can be said The National has entered its Yeats-ian phase, where they have transcended from the more physical and material aspects of life without to the spiritual and visionary within. In order to emphasize on this particular aspect of the album, it is accompanied with a 26-minutes long short film by Mike Mills.

Starring Alicia Vikander, the brooding short film, follows a character from her birth till death and everything that happens within that limited period. As charming as it gets, coming from the director whose most notable works include, ‘Thumbsucker’, ‘Beginners’, and ‘Twentieth Century Women’, Mills puts Vikander as the infant, the child, the girl, the teenager, the woman, and the old person. Mills’ offbeat style of portraying something ordinary through the most unique angles in cinematography is like a perfect foil to the band’s album which in itself is a purple patch to their years of music. However, it should be kept in mind that the movie does not serve as an official video to the band’s album, nor does the album serve like a background track. It is a symbiotic piece of art each of whose parts should be appreciated separately.

 

Although a bulk of the album was recorded at Long Pond Studio in Hudson Valley, New York, parts of it were recorded in places like Paris, Berlin, Dublin, Austin and Brooklyn. In vocals 

Berninger was joined by the likes of Lisa Hannigan, Sharon Van Etten, Mina Tindle, Gail Ann Dorsey, Kate Stables, and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. Check out the album’s listing below:

 

Tracklist (source: Discogs)

1

You Had Your Soul With You

Vocals [Featured Vocalist] – Gail Ann Dorsey

 

2

Quiet Light

 

3

Roman Holiday

Vocals [Featured Vocalist] – Gail Ann Dorsey

 

4

Oblivions

Vocals [Featured Vocalist] – Mina Tindle

 

5

The Pull Of You

Vocals [Featured Vocalist] – Lisa Hannigan, Sharon Van Etten

 

6

Hey Rosey

Vocals [Featured Vocalist] – Gail Ann Dorsey

 

7

I Am Easy To Find

Vocals [Featured Vocalist] – Kate Stables

 

8

Her Father In The Pool

Vocals [Featured Vocalist] – Brooklyn Youth Chorus

 

9

Where Is Her Head

Vocals [Featured Vocalist] – Eve Owen

 

10

Not In Kansas

Vocals [Featured Vocalist] – Gail Ann Dorsey, Kate Stables, Lisa Hannigan

 

11

So Far So Fast

Vocals [Featured Vocalist] – Lisa Hannigan

 

12

Dust Swirls In Strange Light

Vocals [Featured Vocalist] – Brooklyn Youth Chorus

 

13

Hairpin Turns

Vocals [Featured Vocalist] – Gail Ann Dorsey, Lisa Hannigan

 

14

Rylan

Vocals [Featured Vocalist] – Kate Stables

 

15

Underwater

Vocals [Featured Vocalist] – Brooklyn Youth Chorus

 

16

Light Years

 

 


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