Wednesday, June 19, 2019

The National supports new soaring, female-driven record at the Hill Auditorium

Staff Pick

Posted By on Wed, Jun 19, 2019 at 5:22 PM

click to enlarge GRAHAM MACINDOE
  • Graham Macindoe

“How long have we been here?/ Am I ever coming down?” laments the National’s Matt Berninger on “I Am Easy to Find,” the title track off the band’s latest record. The truth is, the National has been here a long-ass time, and it appears that the band of brothers has flipped the script on their brand of bruised, baritone-heavy, sad dad indie with one of the boldest records of the year and of their career.

A follow-up to 2017’s Grammy Award-winning tour de chaos, Sleep Well Beast, the band’s eighth record finds the National dishing out sorrow with a few helping hands. It is the album’s revolving cast of female voices — Lisa Hannigan, Kate Stables, Mina Tindle, Sharon Van Etten, Eve Owen, and former David Bowie bandmate Gail Ann Dorsey — that both balance Berninger’s signature deadpan and lifts the band’s despair-rock into robust storytelling territory. Rock-centric singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett is also on the bill.

The National wsg Courtney Barnett will perform on Tuesday, June 25, at 8 p.m.; 825 N. University Ave., Ann Arbor; 734-764-8350; Tickets are $45+.

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