The National

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The National are a Post Punk band from New York, primarily known for their laid-back, easy-going sound. The band consists of Matt Berninger (singer / Songwriter), Aaron Dessner (bassist / guitarist / keyboardist), Bryce Dessner (guitarist / keyboardist), Bryan Devendorf (drummer), and Scott Devendorf (bassist / guitarist).

They started out with a small underground following in 1999, producing mostly So Okay It's Average albums and EPs, until their 2005 album, Alligator which turned them into critical darlings. From there, their albums continued to get better. In 2007, their album, The Boxer was featured on many "Best of the Year" lists, and in 2010 their fifth album, High Violet won them further critical attention. The album has even been in competition with Arcade Fire's The Suburbs and Beach House's Teen Dream in year-end charts.

Unlike many bands in the Indie/ Alternative movement, they don't rely on of happy/poppy or aggressive hooks to keep their music going. Instead they focus on sombre, tug-at-your-heartstrings type of music. Matt Berninger's Baritone vocals provide very bittersweet lyrics accompanied by the band that keeps a lush sound spiraling in the background. Many people claim that their music helps them through depressing times in their lives and actually uplifts them. Other people tend to call them too melancholy and dismiss them in the same manner as Radiohead gets dismissed.

Not to be confused with the CBC's flagship evening News Broadcast.

The National provides examples of the following tropes:
  • Album Title Drop - Nearly every one of their albums with the exception of their self-titled has a title drop somewhere.
  • Creator Breakdown - Though not entirely clear, a lot of the songs on High Violet appear to be about a rough break-up. Whether or not it's a Breakup Album is not known. It does appear that Matt sounds rather heartbroken about something, though, and every song shows it.
  • Perishing Alt Rock Voice- AND HOW!
  • Self-Titled Album
  • Soprano and Gravel - One of the rare examples where the vocals sound more gritty than the instruments, and also with a male vocalist.