The opening seconds of The National’s latest single ‘You Had Your Soul With You’ show a bold new move for the band.
A mixture of interesting electronic sounds make up the first few seconds of the song, before it enters more familiar National territory. The drums and guitar kick in and then the magical murmurings of frontman Matt Berninger begin. In a way familiar to The National’s seemingly more upbeat songs, the lyrics do not reflect the somewhat upbeat tone of the backing track, with lyrics such as ‘I only had one thing left and I couldn’t see it yet’ cementing this. As Berninger pauses for a musical breakdown a new, unfamiliar voice kicks in. This is the voice of Gail Ann Dorsey, a former bandmate of David Bowie. Her voice partners perfectly with Berninger’s and completely transforms the song from a regular (still incredible) National track, to a thing of beauty. Backing the pair is a beautiful, symphonic explosion of strings, drums and that same electric pattern that began the song. This new direction for The National is promising, it is being hailed as the love child of their latest album ‘Sleep Well Beast’ and their sixth album ‘High Violet’, a combination that can only and will lead to a fantastic new album.