Journey soundtrack #1: The National

Everybody knows that the right soundtrack can make a road trip more enjoyable. It can energise you, it can make you reflective as the music seamlessly blends into your surroundings or it can simply distract you when things don’t turn out as expected. In short, the right music can define a trip.

Hence a little note on what has been draining the batteries of my iPod lately.

The National (High Violet) has been tearing through my headphones for some time now and although I would generally describe their music as leaning towards dark, morbid and introspective, there is also a certain element of fun in their music (living in a Lemonworld anyone?). The latest album meanders through various melodies reminiscient at times of Interpol’s stellar debut, Turn on the Bright Lights (‘Terrible Love, ‘Sorrow’). To a lesser extent one cannot help but think of Godspeed You! Black Emperor (beautiful violins on ‘Little Faith’) and Arcade Fire’s boundless energy on the standout song ‘Bloodbuzz Ohio’ which makes me shudder and shiver with admiration, pleasure and inexplicable sadness.

As if lamenting for something lost that cannot be regained this album takes you on a journey of its own. The ease with which the band combine their usual indie rock with subtle string compositions and beautiful brass accompaniements is enough to guarantee that this album will be found safely nestled in our glove-box compartment once it’s time to go on a journey of our own.

MM

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About hombremediocre

Publisher, bibliophile, writer, traveller and general culture aficionado. (My favourite punctuation mark is the em dash.)
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