“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.