Though they may have chosen the wrong time to reveal it—hitting the web as it does just hours after the new album from Daft Punk—you can now stream the new album from The National. Head over to the band’s landing page in iTunes to hear Trouble Will Find Me in full.
And surprise: It’s a party album! No, just kidding. It’s sad and sullen and gorgeous. The National have held in a steady, winning pattern ever since they found their sound, somewhere between Alligator and Boxer, the pair of albums released in 2005 and 2007. All the elements present on those albums, and on the similarly excellent follow-up High Violet (2010), are here as well: Matt Berninger’s baritone voice, the Dessner twins’ finely textured orchestrations, Bryan Devendorf’s crisp, insistent drums, Scott Devendorf’s subtle bass, the guest spots from Brooklyn indie acts like Sufjan Stevens and Sharon Van Etten.
In other words, it’s another 55 minutes of dirges and steady builders and one or two tracks that explode into screamers, plus simmering anger and shimmering guitars and the kind of odd, evocative lyrics that can get you quoted in Bret Easton Ellis novels. It’s not likely to change your mind about The National if you’ve already made it up, but if you give it a few spins—every National album is a grower—it’ll reward them.