THE NATIONAL Release ‘Hairpin Turns’
From Forthcoming Album. Watch Video Here
I AM EASY TO FIND
Out May 17th
Worldwide Screenings of Mike Mills-Directed Short Film I Am Easy To Find In:
Los Angeles, Brooklyn, Chicago, London, Liverpool, Glasgow, Leeds, Tokyo, Sydney, Melbourne, Madrid, Barcelona, Oslo, Copenhagen, Milan and Mexico City
Live Shows Added In Philadelphia, Mexico City + Boston
Photo credit: Graham MacIndoe
L to R: Bryce Dessner, Mike Mills, Scott Devendorf, Aaron Dessner, Bryan Devendorf, Matt Berninger
The National recently announced their eighth studio album I Am Easy To Find due out May 17th, and its eponymously-titled companion short film written by Academy Award-nominated directorMike Mills (20th Century Women, Beginners), and starring Academy Award Winner Alicia Vikander. Today, the band released album track ‘Hairpin Turns,’ featuring Gail Ann Dorsey and Lisa Hannigan, alongside a Mills directed music video with vocal performances from Dorsey, Mina Tindle, Kate Stables and featuring dancer Sharon Eyal, co-founder, co-artistic director and choreographer of L-E-V Dance Group. Watch the video HERE. Further headline shows in Philadelphia, Mexico City and Boston have also been added (see tour routing below).
“The video is a very simple portrait of the band (and the friends who helped make the song) and the song itself: You see all the instruments that make up the song in isolation, even hear them recorded live on set over the album version, kind of like showing you the tracks that make up the song,”shared Mike Mills. “And you see everyone who contributed alone, including Gail Ann Dorsey, Pauline Delasser (aka Mina Tindle) and Kate Stables – but your mind puts them together. The dancer Sharon Eyal is sort of a continuation of Alicia Vikander’s character from the film I Am Easy To Find. We thought of her as Alicia’s unconscious, or her shadow self – that has her own life in this space.”
To celebrate the release of the new record and short film, The National have announced a number of worldwide screening and listening events in the week commencing May 6th. These will give fans across the world their first chance to hear the new album and watch Mike Mills’ short film in cinema quality, before its official release on May 17th. Events will take place in Los Angeles, Brooklyn, Chicago, London, Liverpool, Glasgow, Leeds, Tokyo, Sydney, Melbourne, Madrid, Barcelona, Oslo, Copenhagen, Milan and Mexico City. See flyer for cities and dates below. Visit americanmary.com for all screening and tour dates.
More about I Am Easy To Find
On September 3, 2017, director Mike Mills emailed Matt Berninger to introduce himself and in very short order, the most ambitious project of the National’s nearly 20-year career was born and plans for a hard-earned vacation died. The Los Angeles-based filmmaker was coming off his third feature,20th Century Women, and was interested in working with the band on…something. A video maybe. Berninger, already a fan of Mills’ films, not only agreed to collaborate, he essentially handed over the keys to the band’s creative process.
The result is I Am Easy to Find, a 24-minute film by Mills starring Alicia Vikander, and I Am Easy to Find, a 68-minute album by the National. The former is not the video for the latter; the latter is not the soundtrack to the former. The two projects are, as Mills calls them, “Playfully hostile siblings that love to steal from each other,” – they share music and words and DNA and impulses and a vision about what it means to be human in 2019, but don’t necessarily need one another. The movie was composed like a piece of music; the music was assembled like a film, by a film director. The frontman and natural focal point was deliberately and dramatically side-staged in favour of a variety of female voices, nearly all of whom have long been in the group’s orbit. It is unlike anything either artist has ever attempted and also totally in line with how they’ve created for much of their careers.
As the album’s opening track, ‘You Had Your Soul With You,’ unfurls, it’s so far, so National: a digitally manipulated guitar line, skittering drums, Berninger’s familiar baritone, mounting tension. Then around the 2:15 mark, the true nature of I Am Easy To Find announces itself: The racket subsides, strings swell, and the voice of long-time David Bowie bandmate Gail Ann Dorsey booms out – not as background vocals, not as a hook, but to take over the song. Elsewhere it’s Irish singer-songwriter Lisa Hannigan, or Sharon Van Etten, or Mina Tindle or Kate Stables of This Is the Kit, or varying combinations of them. The Brooklyn Youth Choir, whom Bryce Dessner had worked with before. There are choral arrangements and strings on nearly every track, largely put together by Bryce in Paris – not a negation of the band’s dramatic tendencies, but a redistribution of them.
“Yes, there are a lot of women singing on this, but it wasn’t because, ‘Oh, let’s have more women’s voices,”’ says Berninger. “It was more, ‘Let’s have more of a fabric of people’s identities.’ It would have been better to have had other male singers, but my ego wouldn’t let that happen.”
Read more about I Am Easy To Find HERE.