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THE NATIONAL

Carwyn Ellis from Cardiff/Wales is a singer, songwriter, composer, arranger, multi-instrumentalist and record producer. He fronts Colorama, formed the Welsh folk group Bendith and hosts a regular themed radio show on Soho Radio. In 2019, Ellis embarked on the first project under his own name, Carwyn Ellis & Rio 18. Sung in Welsh and recorded mainly in Rio de Janeiro, the album, "Joia!" was nominated for the Welsh Music Prize and followed by "Mas" in early 2020. The new album "Yn Rio" is a collection of new songs recorded in Cardiff together with The BBC National Orchestra Of Wales.

In 2017 Carwyn Ellis joined the touring line-up of The Pretenders. For Ellis, a record collector and fan of Brazilian music, the opportunity to tour South America would present opportunities he couldn't have possibly imagined when he accepted Chrissie Hynde's invitation. "The first place we went to was Rio and by the time I met Chrissie for breakfast the day after our gig, I already had a bag of albums I'd just bought. I'm sitting with her and she says, 'You should meet my mates, and do something in Welsh with them! Nobody's done a Welsh language album with Brazilian musicians?"

In 2018, when Alexandre Kassin, a leading light in that Brazilian scene announced a show in London, Hynde suggested that they see it. "I met him afterwards," Ellis recalls, "and we hit it off straight away." Within weeks, Ellis was on a plane to Rio with songs that would form the basis of the first album. This creative purple patch extended into another album released early in 2021 with Carwyn working once again with Kassin plus long-time friend Shawn Lee. The songs on "Mas" drew on the environmental threats that face both Wales and South America, spidering out around the central theme of water ("rains, no rain, droughts, rising seas and flooded valleys for corporate gain. We're screwed without it and screwed if there's too much").

With "Mas" recorded but weeks away from release, Ellis received a call from Gareth Iwan Jones, head producer of BBC Radio Cymru, offering a third album to be performed in March 2021. Ellis started to reflect upon the life-changing events triggered by his South American adventures. The Welsh word 'hiraeth' which describes the longing that Welsh people feel when they're far from home, was something that he was now beginning to feel for Rio de Janeiro: "'Yn Rio' is based around a day in Rio," he explains. "The events of 2020 influenced the record in as much as I wanted it to be a complete antidote to what was going on. If you couldn't go on holiday in real life, you could at least put this record on."

The first single "Olá!", incorporating Jorge Ben's spirit in the chorus and rhythmic breakdown, manages to sound languorous and euphoric. "Cariad, Cariad" was a Portuguese folk poem brought to Ellis' attention by Sonya from Quarteto em Cy and arranged by Christiaan Oyens. "Tristwch 20" is a nod to "Foot and Mouth 68" by Gorkys Zygotic Mynci from "The Blue Trees", 'one of the most beautiful albums of all time', while "Ynys Aur" is named after a 1929 book by Welsh missionary J. Luther Thomas written on returning from his travels to Papua New Guinea. With Kassin unable to participate, Ellis thanks him by translating his "A Paisagem Morta" to create "Y Bywyd Llonyd". For Carwyn Ellis "Yn Rio" is an extraordinary memorial to extraordinary times."There are some days so idyllic you just want tobe able to jump back into them at the touch of a button. That's what I was searching for when I was writing these songs."

TRACK LISTING

1. Botafogo Blue (feat. The BBC National Orchestra Of Wales)
2. Olá! (feat. The BBC National Orchestra Of Wales)
3. Y Bywyd Llonydd (feat. The BBC National Orchestra Of Wales)
4. Açai (feat. The BBC National Orchestra Of Wales)
5. Cariad, Cariad (feat. The BBC National Orchestra Of Wales)
6. Tristwch 20 (feat. The BBC National Orchestra Of Wales)
7. Ynys Aur (feat. The BBC National Orchestra Of Wales)
8. Y Ferch Ar Y Cei (feat. The BBC National Orchestra Of Wales & Nina Miranda)
9. Arpoador (feat. The BBC National Orchestra Of Wales)
10. Ble Aeth Yr Amser (feat. The BBC National Orchestra Of Wales)

Sinead O'Connor

So Far…The Best Of - National Album Day 2021 Edition

    So Far…The Best Of brings together the cream of Sinead O’Connor’s four album releases on the Chrysalis label.

    Originally released in 1997, it features the Number 1 worldwide hit “Nothing Compares 2 U” as well as her early singles “Troy” and “Mandinka”, it showcases Sinead’s enormous talent and fearless uncompromising style.

    This is the very first time that this album has appeared on vinyl, and is being released to coincide with National Album Day in the UK, with the emphasis on female artists.

    The album is presented in a 5mm sleeve and includes the tracks “Success Has Made A Failure Of Our Home”, as well as “Heroine” and “Just Like U Said It Would B” which were previously only available on the US version. This is pressed on 2 x clear vinyl.


    TRACK LISTING

    Disc 1:
    Side A
    1. Nothing Compares 2 U
    2. Mandinka
    3. The Emperor's New Clothes
    4. Thank You For Hearing Me 
    5. Last Day Of Our Acquaintance
    Side B
    1. Fire On Babylon
    2. Troy
    3. I Am Stretched On Your Grave
    4. Jackie

    Disc 2:
    Side A
    1. Success Has Made A Failure Of Our Home
    2. John I Love You
    3. Empire (feat. Sinead O'Connor & Benjamin Zephaniah)
    4. I Want Your (Hands On Me)
    Side B
    1. Heroine (Theme From "Captive")
    2. Don't Cry For Me Argentina
    3. You Made Me The Thief Of Your Heart
    4. Just Like U Said It Would B
    5. This Is A Rebel Song

    Stevie Nicks

    Live In Concert The 24 Karat Gold Tour - National Album Day 2021 Edition

      Limited Blue & White Splatter Colour Vinyl For National Album Day 2021 - Celebrating Women In Music. 5000 Units for UK.

      Stevie Nicks’ solo catalog has sold over 103,000 albums in 2019, including 90,000 in physical alone.

      Filmed and recorded in Indianapolis and Pittsburgh in 2017 during the 67 city sold out tour, 24K Gold Live in Concert features her solo hits “Stop Dragging My Heart Around, “Stand Back”, & “Edge Of Seventeen”, as well as Fleetwood Mac’s “Rhiannon” & “Gypsy”.

      It also includes the first ever live recording of “Crying In The Night”, and other live rarities.


      TRACK LISTING

      Disc 1 -
      Side A 1. Stand Back (Live)
      2. If Anyone Falls (Live)
      3. Stop Draggin' My Heart Around (Live)
      4. Crying In The Night (Live)
      5. Gypsy (Live)
      Side B
      1. Wild Heart / Bella Donna (Live)
      2. New Orleans (Live)
      3. Enchanted (Live)
      4. Belle Fleur (Live)

      Disc 2 -
      Side A
      1. Moonlight (A Vampire’s Dream) (Live)
      2. If You Were My Love (Live)
      3. Gold Dust Woman (Live)
      Side B
      1. Edge Of Seventeen (Live)
      2. Rhiannon (Live)
      3. Landslide (Live)

      Siouxsie And The Banshees

      Tinderbox - National Album Day 2021 Edition

        Siouxsie & The Banshee’s 7th studio album “Tinderbox”.

        A beautiful high quality package this heavy weight vinyl colour is presented to reflect the artwork and celebrate the legacy of Tinderbox on World Album Day.

        Solange

        A Seat At The Table - National Album Day 2021 Edition

        Although she started her musical career fifteen years ago, at the tender age of fifteen, it's taken some time for Solange to hit her stride. Early albums saw the youthful singer in awe of her big sister (Beyonce for the three people in the world who didn't know, and Barry), trying in vain to emulate the glistening R&B of Bey, Kelly and Michelle. As she matured, Solange explored fashion, first as a model, then as a designer with her House Of Deréon fashion line, gradually defining her own aesthetic and identity in the process. All of which means, that in 2k16, Solange is ready to mark her mark on the musical map with a career defining, world changing LP of boundary pushing soul. While the charts are filled with the throbbing basslines and skittering hats of trap and EDM, Solange has served up an organic, original set of sincere and spiritual soul built on warm bass, delicate piano and inspired synth melodies. Then there's her voice; intimate, crystal clear and packed with emotion, perfectly narating the struggles of life in the modern world. One minute into "Cranes In The Sky" and I was nearly in tears, it is SUBLIME. Visually, sonically and thematically unique, this is a perfect LP of accessible RnB and fully deserves its place as a future classic. You WILL remember where you were the first time you heard this, and you'll fall deeper in love with every subsequent listen.

        This limited-edition NAD release is pressed on solid white coloured vinyl.

        TRACK LISTING

        1. Rise
        2. Weary
        3. Interlude: The Glory Is In You
        4. Cranes In The Sky
        5. Interlude: Dad Was Mad
        6. Mad - Solange Feat. Lil Wayne
        7. Don't You Wait
        8. Interlude: Tina Taught Me
        9. Don't Touch My Hair - Solange Feat. Sampha
        10. Interlude: This Moment
        11. Where Do We Go
        12. Interlude: For Us By Us
        13. F.U.B.U. - Solange Feat. The Dream And BJ The Chicago Kid
        14. Borderline (An Ode To Self Care) - Solange Feat. Q-Tip / Solange
        15. Interlude: I Got So Much Magic, You Can Have It - Solange Feat. Kelly Rowland And Nia Andrews
        16. Junie
        17. Interlude: No Limits
        18. Don't Wish Me Well
        19. Interlude: Pedestals
        20. Scales - Solange Feat. Kelela
        21. Closing: The Chosen Ones

        The National

        Cherry Tree EP - 2021 Reissue

          Released a year before The National broke through with their third album Alligator, 2004’s Cherry Tree EP is a thrilling record which - thanks to its collection of delicate ballads and anthemic crowd-pleasers - sums up what they do best in under 30 minutes. Now a firm fan-favourite, among Cherry Tree’s seven tracks are now National classics ‘About Today’ and ‘All The Wine’, plus a thrilling live version of ‘Murder Me Rachael’ that reminds of the band’s fearsome early live performances. Cherry Tree can be seen as the record that marks the moment when The National had truly found themselves, a bridge from what went before to a band ready to conquer the World.

          Having been remastered at Abbey Road Studios, the 2021 represses stay faithful to their original artwork while their stunning new masters help make these much-loved records sound as vital as ever, further emphasising the early signs of the sound that would go on to make them one of the fi nest and most beloved alternative bands of their generation.

          TRACK LISTING

          1. / A1. Wasp Nest
          2. / A2. All The Wine
          3. / A3. All Dolled-Up In Straps
          4. / A4. Cherry Tree
          5. / B1. About Today
          6. / B2. Murder Me Rachael (Live)
          7. / B3. Reasonable Man (I Don’t Mind)

          The National

          Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers - 2021 Reissue

            The National’s second album, Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers (2003) proved a leap forward from 2001’s eponymous debut, showing a band adept at delivering warm embraces and gut punches in equal measure.

            With word of mouth now spreading on the band, critics proved equally enthusiastic... Pitchfork in their glowing review called it a “Gorgeous train wreck” that “Lives up to its blunt title (with) Matt Berninger’s self-effacing barbs matched by the band’s equally potent hooks,” while Uncut also became early champions saying the album was “A genuine treasure... Livid as a bruise, this is brave, desperate, beautiful music.”

            No longer a secret among those that know, Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers is an important record in The National’s discography with this new remaster showing that it’s more than standing the test of time.

            Having been remastered at Abbey Road Studios, the 2021 represses stay faithful to their original artwork while their stunning new masters help make these much-loved records sound as vital as ever, further emphasising the early signs of the sound that would go on to make them one of the fi nest and most beloved alternative bands of their generation.

            TRACK LISTING

            1. / A1. Cardinal Song
            2. / A2. Slipping Husband
            3. / A3. 90-Mile Water Wall
            4. / A4. It Never Happened
            5. / A5. Murder Me Rachael
            6. / B1. Thirsty
            7. / B2. Available
            8. / B3. Sugar Wife
            9. / B4. Trophy Wife
            10. / B5. Fashion Coat
            11. / B6. Patterns Of Fairytales
            12. / B7. Lucky You

            The National

            The National - 2021 Reissue

              Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2021, The National’s self-titled debut album of sozzled Americana is a thing of beauty, laden with heavy hints that this was a special band in the making.

              Their first release, The National arrived two years after The National formed, a time when they were juggling bandlife with needing to hold down full-time jobs. And while nods to the alt. rock artists that inspired them (Pavement, Silver Jews) can be heard, so too are the beginnings of something all their own – Matt Berninger’s stunning and unexpected lyrics being pinned to melodies that stop you in your tracks.

              The National marks the start point for one of the best bands of their generation with its new master helping elevate it to new levels. A great primer to a great band.

              Having been remastered at Abbey Road Studios, the 2021 represses stay faithful to their original artwork while their stunning new masters help make these much-loved records sound as vital as ever, further emphasising the early signs of the sound that would go on to make them one of the fi nest and most beloved alternative bands of their generation.

              TRACK LISTING

              1. / A1. Beautiful Head
              2. / A2. Cold Girl Fever
              3. / A3. The Perfect Song
              4. / A4. American Mary
              5. / A5. Son
              6. / A6. Pay For Me
              7. / B1. Bitters & Absolut
              8. / B2. John’s Star
              9. / B3. Watching You Well
              10. / B4. Theory Of The Crows
              11. / B5. 29 Years
              12. / B6. Anna Freud

              Fifth Album by the Bill Wells project feat. words by Aidan Moffat A masterclass in nuance, interpretation and the purifying power of the human voice, Standards Vol. V represents another captivating chapter in the career of a singular figure in contemporary music. For his fifth album as the mischievously named National Jazz Trio Of Scotland, the prolific jazz outsider Bill Wells posits yet another collaborator in the diffuse light cast by his tender chord shifts and understated arrangements. The voice on Standards Vol. V is that of Black, whose other musical activities include the band Babe, Francois And The Atlas Mountains, Rozi Plain and Charlotte Gainsbourg.

              TRACK LISTING

              I Know Where I'm Going (1:59)
              Sigh No More Ladies (2:35)
              Vox II (3:33)
              Sunrise, Sunset (4:42)
              Set Firee To Silver Light (0:51)
              So Much Power (3:18)
              Gradual Inclination (3:30)
              The King Tailors (2:15)
              Of Thee I Sing (4:46)
              Gradual Inclination (reprise) (1:10)
              A Quiet Goodbye (2:28)

              I Am Easy To Find is the band’s eighth studio album and the follow-up to 2017’s GRAMMY®-award winning release Sleep Well Beast. A companion short film with the same name will also be released with music by The National and inspired by the album. The film was directed by Academy Award-nominated director Mike Mills (20th Century Women, Beginners), and starring Academy Award Winner Alicia Vikander. Mills, along with the band, is credited as co-producer of the album, which was mostly recorded at Long Pond, Hudson Valley, NY with additional sessions in Paris, Berlin, Cincinnati, Austin, Dublin, Brooklyn and more far flung locations. The album features vocal contributions from Sharon Van Etten, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Lisa Hannigan, Mina Tindle and more.

              I Am Easy to Find is a 24-minute film by Mills starring Alicia Vikander, and 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 sidestaged 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.”

              TRACK LISTING

              1. You Had Your Soul With You
              2. Quiet Light
              3. Roman Holiday
              4. Oblivions
              5. The Pull Of You
              6. Hey Rosey
              7. I Am Easy To Find
              8. Her Father In The Pool
              9. Where Is Her Head
              10. Not In Kansas
              11. So Far So Fast
              12. Dust Swirls In Strange Light
              13. Hairpin Turns
              14. Rylan
              15. Underwater
              16. Light Years

              Side 5 On Deluxe Triple – Contains 22 Minutes Of Music From The I Am Easy To Find Original Film Score – EXCLUSIVE To This Format.
              Side 6 On 3LP - Etching.

              Beth Gibbons And The Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra

              Henryk Górecki: Symphony No. 3 (Symphony Of Sorrowful Songs)

              Domino is extremely proud to present Henryk Górecki: Symphony No. 3 (Symphony of Sorrowful Songs) performed by Beth Gibbons and the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Krzysztof Penderecki. 

              The performance took place at The National Opera Grand Theatre in Warsaw on November 29th 2014, and was part of an evening of programming that also featured Jonny Greenwood's (Radiohead) 48 Responses To Polymorphia and the world premiere of Bryce Dessner's (The National) Réponse Lutosławski.

              Following an invitation to collaborate at the concert, Beth Gibbons undertook an intense preparation process, including tackling the challenge of learning the original text (and the emotional weight it carries) without speaking the mother language. Typical to Beth though - the elusive yet iconic frontwoman of one of the most important British bands of the last two decades - the challenge was met and exceeded. Her performance alongside the maestro Penderecki has been hailed as triumphant, as you can see and hear on this release.

              The film, was produced by the National Audiovisual Institute, Poland and directed by Michał Merczyński.

              STAFF COMMENTS

              Barry says: There's no denying that Beth Gibbons is one of the most cherished and highly recognisable vocal talents of the past several decades, but hearing her in this context is nothing less than astounding. The latent sadness inherent in Gorecki's 3rd symphony is only enhanced by Gibbons' stunning vocal range and perfect delivery. Astounding.

              TRACK LISTING

              I. Lento - Sostenuto Tranquillo Ma Cantabile
              II. Lento E Largo - Tranquillissimo
              III. Lento - Cantabile-semplice

              Bert Innis National Recording Orchestra & Mighty Sparrow

              Slave / The Slave

              “Slave” is a dark instrumental of Sparrow’s “The Slave” from 1963 by Bert Inniss National Recording Orchestra with backing vocals by March of Dimes Quartet. It was the first release on the National label, which would become Sparrow’s home from 1963 to 1967; Spicy, rhythmic, mournful, classic, full of emotions.

              “The Slave” was taken from the same title album released in 1963. This album marks a new era in the matchless career of Sparrow. He could not have launched his National Recording Company on a higher note. “The Slave” is a gem of composition and one of the most memorable works created by a calypsonian in this generation. Maybe it will remain historically significant in the traditional musical development of Trinidad & Tobago for generations. The song is a scathing telling of the fate of slaves in Britain's West Indian colonies. If you've ever wondered where calypso came from this song will tell you. You can actually feel the emotions of the Slaves being expressed in this great Calypso. The genius Mighty Sparrow has taken us back to the plantations so that we can get a front seat view of the hardships of slavery. This narration in song is a must for all students of history in Trinidad & Tobago.

              Many of the world's great craftsmen have, at one time or another, created works which were not entirely free from flaws. An astonishing exception in this respect is the greatest calypsonian Mighty Sparrow. From the day he skyrocketed to fame with his composition “Jean And Dinah” in 1956, Slinger Francisco has not made a weak calypso. All of his long-play records have been best-sellers throughout the Caribbean, in the United Kingdom, the United States and even in Europe.

              TRACK LISTING

              A1. Bert Inniss National Recording Orchestra - Slave
              B1. Mighty Sparrow - The Slave

              The National

              Boxer Live In Brussels

                Previously unreleased live version of the bands Boxer album performed in full - recorded at Forest National, Brussels, Belgium, 09 November 2017

                TRACK LISTING

                Fake Empire (Live In Brussels)
                Mistaken For Strangers (Live In Brussels)
                Brainy (Live In Brussels)
                Squalor Victoria (Live In Brussels)
                Green Gloves (Live In Brussels)
                Slow Show (Live In Brussels)
                Apartment Story (Live In Brussels)
                Start A War (Live In Brussels)
                Guest Room (Live In Brussels)
                Racing Like A Pro (Live In Brussels)
                Ada (Live In Brussels)
                Gospel (Live In Brussels)

                The National return with their much anticipated seventh album, produced by Aaron Dessner, with additional production by Matt Berninger and Bryce Dessner. The album was mixed by Peter Katis and recorded at Aaron’s Long Pond studio in Hudson Valley, NY.

                While in some ways it’s typically National-sounding, they’ve definitely added some new elements to their sound. Opening track “Nobody Else Will Be There” is a stripped back ballad with melancholic piano, and Matt’s distinct vocals, but the electronics pulsing away in the background are a sign of what’s to come with the album.

                All the usual elements are there, intricate guitars, delicate piano keys, scatter-shot drums and of course Matt’s mumbling/crooning baritone, but a new layer of electronics bubbling away in the mix adds a new dimension to their sound.

                As with the last couple of albums, it features mostly fairly downtempo ballads but they do ramp things up from time to time: “Day I Die”, “They System Only Dreams In Total” and the big rock-out track of the album, “Turtleneck”. It’s taken a few listens to get into it, but as a fan I’m certainly not disappointed.

                TRACK LISTING

                A1. Nobody Else Will Be There
                A2. Day I Die
                A3. Walk It Back
                B1. The System Only Dreams
                In Total Darkness
                B2. Born To Beg
                B3. Turtleneck
                C1. Empire Line
                C2. I’ll Still Destroy You
                C3. Guilty Party
                D1. Carin At The Liquor Store
                D2. Dark Side Of The Gym
                D3. Sleep Well Beast

                * First ever anthology
                * Remastered from original sources
                * 2xLP housed in a deluxe gatefold tip-on jacket with 20-pg book, and download card full full anthology
                * Vinyl cut by John Golden and pressed at RTI
                * CD housed in a deluxe gatefold tip-on jacket with 48-pg book
                * Scholarly liner notes by Punk In Africa director Keith Jones
                * Unseen photos, flyers, and band ephemera

                The South Africa of the late 1970s was neither the right place nor time to launch a mixed-race punk band. Yet, following the student-inspired Soweto Uprising of 1976, it was also exactly the right conditions to foster a band like National Wake, one formed in an underground commune, and one whose very name exists in protest at the divisive, racist apartheid regime. Never before collected together, Light In The Attic is set to release National Wake’s full body of work as Walk In Africa 1979-81.

                Featured heavily in the Punk In Africa documentary, National Wake played punk, reggae and tropical funk, equally at home in the city’s rock underground and the township nightclub circuit. Ivan Kadey started the band with two brothers, Gary and Punka Khoza. The three were from different worlds –while Ivan was an outsider, a Jewish orphan born in the traditional Johannesburg immigrant neighborhood, Gary, Punka and their family were forcibly moved to the troubled township of Soweto under the apartheid regime. Later joined by guitarist Steve Moni, the whole band grew up against a backdrop of township unrest, social upheaval and suburban tedium that characterized apartheid-era South Africa.

                National Wake released just one album, in 1981. It sold approximately 700 copies before being withdrawn under government pressure. The band subsequently disintegrated, but their influence could be traced in the racially mixed post-punk underground centered around Rockey Street in Johannesburg throughout the 1980s, their legacy transmitted through fanzines and underground cassette trading.

                Sadly, Gary and Punka Khoza both passed away in their 40s. Kadey now works as an architect in Los Angeles, but his attention eventually turned back to the band as their legacy grew in the digital era, with the emergence of specialized music websites and Punk In Africa leading to their rediscovery. Czech State Radio memorably described the band as “perhaps the most dissident music scene of the 20th century: a multi-racial punk band in a fascist police state.”

                In 2011, Kadey re-released the band’s self-titled album, but spoke about having more than 20 tracks that had never seen the light of day –until now. “All of these recordings put together they speak of the whole evolution of the band,” he has said. “From a sort of naive, almost belief that we could miraculously change everything to realizing what a struggle it was, and what the country was going through and what it would go through.”

                TRACK LISTING

                1. International News
                2. It's All Right
                3. Walk In Africa
                4. Time And Place
                5. Corner House Stone
                6. Mercenaries
                7. Wake Of The Nation
                8. Supaman
                9. Speed It Up
                10. Beat Up The Lights
                11. Black Punk Rockers
                12. Stratocaster
                13. Everybody
                14. Vatsiketeni

                This is the sixth studio album for the Brooklyn band, and follows 2010’s High Violet, which was No 2 in our Albums of The Year, that year.

                In an interview with UK’s Uncut Magazine, front man Matt Berninger described the songs as more “immediate and visceral” than their previous work. Trouble Will Find Me possesses a directness, a coherency and an approachability that suggests The National are at their most confident.

                After a 22-month tour following the release of High Violet the band returned home. Regardless of plans to wait to record new music for another year or two, guitarist Aaron Dessner began working on sketches of new songs that the other members were too inspired by to not fully realise. Matt confesses, “For the past ten years we’d been chasing something, wanting to prove something. And this chase was about trying to disprove our own insecurities. After touring High Violet, I think we felt like we’d finally gotten there. Now we could relax—not in terms of our own expectations but we didn’t have to prove our identity any longer.” The results are simultaneously breakthrough and oddly familiar, the culmination of an artistic journey that has led The National both to a new crest and, somehow, back to their beginnings—when, says Aaron, “our ideas would immediately click with each other. It’s free-wheeling again. The songs on one level are our most complex, and on another they’re our most simple and human. It just feels like we’ve embraced the chemistry we have.” The album was recorded at Clubhouse in Rhinebeck, NY. Trouble Will Find Me was self-produced and mixed by Craig Silvey with additional mixing from Peter Katis and Marcus Paquin.

                STAFF COMMENTS

                Laura says: With every album The National have pushed on and made a more ambitious album, constantly upping the ante with bigger arrangements and a bigger sound. So how on earth were the going to follow High Violet?
                Well, it seems they’ve finally come to terms with who and where they are as a band and made an album that reflects that. The Dressner brothers intricate arrangements are still there, as are the distinctive scatter-shot drum patterns (described perfectly by film director DA Pennebaker as “like rain falling through the leaves of a tree”) and of course Matt Berninger’s rich baritone rolls effortlessly over it all, but “Trouble Will Find Me” is a more relaxed, streamlined collection, and this stripping back gives the songs room to breathe and emphasises just how good they are at what they do. There may be less angst here than in the past, but the romanticism and melancholy are still there and for me, once again they've come up with one of the best albums of the year.

                TRACK LISTING

                1. I Should Live In Salt
                2. Demons
                3. Don't Swallow The Cap
                4. Fireproof
                5. Sea Of Love
                6. Heavenfaced
                7. This Is The Last Time
                8. Graceless
                9. Slipped
                10. I Need My Girl
                11. Humiliation
                12. Pink Rabbits
                13. Hard To Find

                The National

                High Violet - Expanded Edition

                The album opens with the slow drums and mournful vocals of “Terrible Love” but from the start there’s a simmering intensity that builds and eventually explodes into crashing cymbals, pummelling drums, distorted guitars and layered vocals. A dramatic entrance to The National’s fifth album. But it’s not all this heavy, as with their previous releases it’s an album of mood swings. Where “Terrible Love” was explosive, second track “Sorrow” is mournful and melodic.
                And while the album changes mood and tempo, at times warm and intimate at others dramatic, propelled by off beat drum rhythms, there’s always a palpable intensity. I read recently that they find it hard to finish songs, with one or other band member frequently rejecting material. Whether the atmosphere created here is the cause or result of this I don’t know, but either way it works perfectly. Despite Matt’s melancholy, there’s something really uplifting about this collection of beautifully crafted mini epics.

                TRACK LISTING

                High Violet
                Terrible Love
                Sorrow
                Anyone’s Ghost
                Little Faith
                Afraid Of Everyone
                Bloodbuzz Ohio
                Lemonworld
                Runaway
                Conversation 16
                England
                Vanderlyle Crybaby
                Geeks

                Bonus Disc

                Terrible Love (Alternate Version)
                Wake Up Your Saints
                You Were A Kindness
                Walk Off
                Sin-Eaters
                Bloodbuzz Ohio (Live On The Current)
                Anyone’s Ghost (Live At BAM)
                England (Live At BAM)

                The album opens with the slow drums and mournful vocals of “Terrible Love” but from the start there’s a simmering intensity that builds and eventually explodes into crashing cymbals, pummelling drums, distorted guitars and layered vocals.
                A dramatic entrance to The National’s fifth album. But it’s not all this heavy, as with their previous releases it’s an album of mood swings. Where “Terrible Love” was explosive, second track “Sorrow” is mournful and melodic.
                And while the album changes mood and tempo, at times warm and intimate at others dramatic, propelled by off beat drum rhythms, there’s always a palpable intensity. I read recently that they find it hard to finish songs, with one or other band member frequently rejecting material. Whether the atmosphere created here is the cause or result of this I don’t know, but either way it works perfectly. Despite Matt’s melancholy, there’s something really uplifting about this collection of beautifully crafted mini epics.


                STAFF COMMENTS

                Martin says: A bona fide classic, and possibly the summit of The National's already majestic canon. Moody, introspective and deeply involving, "High Violet" manages to be both clever and inventive and at the same time focused in it's somewhat bleak expression. A work of troubled genius whose (very) high points, "Afraid of Everyone", "Bloodbuzz Ohio" and the sublime "Conversation 16" would grace pretty much any album, ever. It is really that good.

                TRACK LISTING

                1. Terrible Love
                2. Sorrow
                3. Anyone’s Ghost
                4. Little Faith
                5. Afraid Of Everyone
                6. Bloodbuzz Ohio
                7. Lemonworld
                8. Runaway
                9. Conversation 16
                10. England
                11. Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks

                The National

                Boxer

                  The National's 2005 album "Alligator" saw them fulfil the promise shown on their previous two albums, and set the bar impossibly high for their follow up.

                  However, with "Boxer" they've created something quite stunning, in fact the opening three tracks, "Fake Empire", "Mistaken For Strangers" and "Brainy" are possibly their best songs ever. A taut rhythm section is present throughout, and complements the languid vocals and lush string arrangements perfectly. Although the strings and Matt Berninger's distinctive drawl create a solemn mood, there are plenty of upbeat moments here too, creating a rich anthemic album with just the right amount of melancholy.

                  TRACK LISTING

                  1. Fake Empire
                  2. Mistaken For Strangers
                  3. Brainy
                  4. Squalor Victoria
                  5. Green Gloves
                  6. Slow Show
                  7. Apartment Story
                  8. Start A War
                  9. Guest Room
                  10. Racing Like A Pro
                  11. Ada
                  12. Gospel

                  The National

                  Alligator

                    These five Cincinnati friends recorded two albums and a mini album for Brassland before signing to Beggars Banquet. Their last effort, "Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers", was touted as one of the year's best by Rolling Stone and other magazines.

                    The National contains two pairs of brothers - Aaron Dessner (guitars, bass) and Bryce Dessner (guitar), Scott Devendorf (guitar, bass), Bryan Devendorf (drums) and singer Matt Berninger. Matt's potent baritone intones about matters fraught and funny and sad; about record collections, missing persons and medium-sized American hearts. The songs are intense, and emotive but generally quite restrained, but on one or two tracks, this intensity spills out into a superbly abrasive blast of emotion, before ebbing back into mellowness. Wonderful!

                    STAFF COMMENTS

                    Laura says: An absolutely awesome album - one of my albums of the year in 2005 when it was originally released. Although it's perhaps a little less 'polished' than "High Violet" it still has that same compelling, claustrophic intensity too it.

                    TRACK LISTING

                    1. Secret Meeting
                    2. Karen
                    3. Lit Up
                    4. Looking For Astronauts
                    5. Daughters Of The Soho Riots
                    6. Baby, We'll Be Fine
                    7. Friend Of Mine
                    8. Val Jester
                    9. All The Wine
                    10. Abel
                    11. Geese Of Beverly Road
                    12. City Middle
                    13. Mr. November


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