Alligator is the third album by Brooklyn-based indie rock band The National, released in April 2005. The album brought The National critical acclaim and led them to headline a tour, with opening act Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. The album was on many year-end top 10 lists, including Uncut and Planet Sound, both of which ranked it as the number two album of 2005. Pitchfork Media and NME ranked Alligator as a top album of the 2000s. Alligator has sold over 200,000 copies worldwide. Read more on Last.fm.
Boxer is the fourth full-length studio album by Brooklyn-via-Cincinnati indie rock band The National. It was released on May 22, 2007 by Beggars Banquet Records. The album features a guest performance by Sufjan Stevens on "Ada" and "Racing Like a Pro" and backing vocals by Marla Hansen. It debuted at number 68 on the U.S. Billboard 200, selling about 9,500 copies in its first week. The song "Slow Show" contains lyrics from the band's song "29 Years," first found on their self-titled debut album. "From the first piano chords on opener "Fake Empire", the National create a late-night, empty-city-street mood, slightly menacing but mostly isolated. The 10 tracks that follow sustain and even amplify that feeling, revealing the band's range as they play close to the vest." So says Pitchfork Media's Steven Deusner, who gave the album an 8.6/10.0. The album also received 4 stars from Rolling Stone's Rob Sheffield. Songs from Boxer have made appearances on television shows such as "Chuck" "The Riches" "One Tree Hill" "Gossip Girl" and President Barack Obama's campaign video "Signs of Hope and Change" A film by Vincent Moon documenting the creation of the album, entitled "A Skin, a Night" was released on Beggar's Banquet on May 20, 2008. Read more on Last.fm.
Trouble Will Find Me is the sixth studio album by American indie rock band The National, released on May 17, 2013 on 4AD. Produced by band members Aaron and Bryce Dessner, the album features appearances from St. Vincent, Sharon Van Etten, Doveman, Sufjan Stevens, Nona Marie Invie, of Dark Dark Dark fame, and Richard Reed Parry, of Arcade Fire. The album received widespread critical acclaim upon its release. Trouble Will Find Me reached number three on both the Billboard 200 and the UK Albums Chart. The National began writing Trouble Will Find Me towards the end of the band's tour in support of previous album, High Violet (2010). Regarding the tour's completion, and the collective mental state of the band at this time, lead vocalist Matt Berninger noted, "[We] felt satisfied at the end of touring High Violet. It was the first time ever, or at least in the past ten years, where we felt like we could put the band on the shelf for a little while, put a record out in three, four years. There wasn’t any sense of, 'what now?'" Berninger, however, became inspired by guitarists Aaron and Bryce Dessner's recent demo recordings, and subsequently completed his writing contributions to the album's opening track, "I Should Live in Salt", a day after initially hearing it. Bass guitarist Scott Devendorf noted, "Our typical way of working was to send stuff to Matt, then wait a while to get some mumbles back. He seemed really motivated and engaged with the new stuff." The band began recording Trouble Will Find Me in late September 2012, at a converted barn in Rhinebeck, New York, named Clubhouse. Bass guitarist Scott Devendorf stated that Clubhouse was chosen primarily to establish camaraderie amongst the band, noting: "The impetus to record upstate-- cooking, eating, working, hanging out together - was to achieve this music-camp feel." The first four days of recording were interrupted by a tornado which subsequently led to a power cut. Guitarist, keyboardist and co-producer Aaron Dessner noted, "That night, by candlelight in the total darkness, we got really drunk and played the songs acoustically. It was the kind of scene that has never happened in the history of our band — and will never happen again." The band subsequently relocated to Dreamland Studios - located within a converted 19th century church, in West Hurley, New York - to record the track, "Fireproof", entirely live. Inspired by the session, the band returned to Clubhouse and recorded both "Sea of Love" and "Heavenfaced" as one-take live performances. Recording at Clubhouse, however, was once again derailed by Hurricane Sandy, with Aaron Dessner stating, "I drove back into the city because I was worried about my family and the potential flooding, and got stuck there for four days.'' Dessner, who co-produced Trouble Will Find Me alongside his brother Bryce, noted that his experiences producing both Sharon Van Etten's Tramp (2012) and Local Natives' Hummingbird (2013) led him to understand the importance of "constructive, positive dialogue" in the recording studio, whereas before he and his bandmates would often argue throughout the process. Inspired by the recent birth of his daughter, Ingrid Stella Dessner, guitarist, keyboardist and co-producer Aaron Dessner began writing music with his child in mind. Vocalist Matt Berninger noted that he "react[ed] to it in a very visceral, immediate, infantile way." The lyrics to the album's opening track, "I Should Live in Salt", are directed towards Matt Berninger's brother, Tom, who directed the forthcoming band documentary, Mistaken for Strangers (2013). Berninger stated that he enjoyed the writing process for Trouble Will Find Me noting, "In the past, it’s been hard to enjoy writing - like getting drops of blood from your forehead - but I loved the process for this record. I think a lot of it was because I wasn't worried - I didn't care what the songs were going to be about, or if they were going to seem depressing, or cool, or whatever." Read more on Last.fm.