Gloomy New Yorkers The National have spoken about their recent commercial breakthrough.
With their literate, post-punk indebted songwriting The National became critical darlings. Building up a devoted fanbase, it seems as if the band were set to miss the commercial success other, lesser, artists enjoy.
With their new album ‘High Violet’ though, it seems as if the public caught up with The National. The album flew into the charts, scoring high in both Britain and the United States.
Matching critical reception with commercial nous, ‘High Violet’ has made a significant impact. However in a recent interview The National singer Matt Berninger claimed that the pressure to succeed did filtrate down to the band.
“There was some anxiety because we weren’t doing some of the things we did before. We were conscious of the fact that that could be a problem – we could lose ground we gained with ‘Alligator’. The fact that we still made ‘Boxer’ the way we wanted to made things better for us, and it did sort of establish us.”
“This time we had less anxiety from worrying about people’s anticipation or what fans were going to think” he told Pitchfork. “Most of the anxiety this time was about what should we do. What do we want to do that’s going to keep us excited and surprise us? What’s going to keep us motivated and looking for new ideas? That was the big struggle.”
Meanwhile, Aaron Dessner spoke about the surplus of ideas roaming around the initial recording sessions. “We don’t have any shortage of ideas, but I do think it’s hard for us to discover National songs” he revealed.
“They’re not intuitive. It’s not easy for us to write songs. There’s not one songwriter. It’s a collaborative process. That’s what’s hard about it: Everybody has their heart in it and is committed to chasing down these ideas.”
The National are set to release new single ‘Anyone’s Ghost’ on June 28th.