Thursday, April 28, 2011

Gamechanger

In my opinion, I don't exaggerate when I say that The National can do no wrong. An avid fan of their older work, which represented a darker and harder mood-rock persona of theirs, as well as their newer, hypnotizing romantic-rock melodies - they always hit the musical nail on the head. Their music is surrounded with this recognizable aura of wisdom, passion and melancholy - a sound that's addictive to listen to, because you inevitably feel a little bit of something with the first few notes. From my experience, Matt Berninger's plain croons over swelling sounds and instruments evoke emotion in even the most impartial listeners.

"Exile Vilify", their latest single (and thank God, because since the release of High Violet last May - I've been jonesin' for more), is heartbreaking. A song that's been put to the new video game Portal 2, I'll admit my video game ignorance when I say I hear nothing whatsoever related to the gaming world in this haunting track. The song was probably pulled for the video game soundtrack after being thrown to the cutting room floor of one of their most recent albums - because the meaningful lyrical performance and magical instrumental loop seems unbelievably and typically The National in nature. I guess what I'm trying to say is, they wrote this song for themselves, not the game.

Either way, the first time I heard it, (similar to the first time I listened to High Violet all the way through), it took the wind out of me. Magical, swooping piano composition and gorgeous background strings tell me this might just be one of my favourite tracks of the spring season. The story is honest and sometimes tragic, but heroic - a feeling that I find commonly resonates in me after I spend time listening to the brilliant baritone of Berninger. Listen below:



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