New Music Review: The National – Sleep Well Beast


Release Date: September 8, 2017

Label: 4AD

Not really acquainted with the music of The National? Yeah, me neither, not until I heard their newest album, Sleep Well Beast . The National is an Indie Rock band out of Cincinnati, Ohio, but are currently based in Brooklyn, and have been around since 1999. The members are; Matt Berninger (vocals), Aaron Dessner (guitar, keyboards), Bryce Dessner (guitar), Scott Devendorf (bass) and Bryan Devendorf (drums).

The first track, Nobody Else Will Be There, is a very chill and dreamy tune, with beautiful piano, and vocals full of emotion. Track two, Day I Die, has a retro feel to it (love the guitar), like the ‘New Wave’ music I listened to in the 80’s. Walk It Back, track three, is full of sultry vocals. The fifth track, Born to Beg, is a slow song that flows like a long, scenic drive in the country. Track six, Turtleneck is lacking in something, it just doesn’t connect with me.

Guilty Party, track nine, is smooth and tells a familiar tale of a rocky relationship. Dark side of the Gym is a slow song, like the ones that played at high school dances, when you hoped to be asked to dance, then remembered that you don’t know how to slow dance, so then you hoped no one would ask you to slow dance. I just love the lyrics “I’m gonna keep you in love with me…for a while”. The last track, Sleep Well Beast, sounds like someone explaining something to you, but they are half asleep. Not a terrible thing altogether, just a very groggy sound (for lack of a better term). Overall, the album is very easy on the ears, superb vocals. I already gave away my age, so I can tell you that this band has a sound similar to The Psychedelic Furs, and O.M.D. I enjoyed this album, and I know you will to.

Track List:

  1. Nobody Else Will Be There
  2. Day I Die
  3. Walk It Back
  4. The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness
  5. Born to Beg
  6. Turtleneck
  7. Empire Line
  8. I’ll Still Destroy You
  9. Guilty Party
  10. Carin at the Liquor Store
  11. Dark Side of the Gym
  12. Sleep Well Beast

By: Sandie Neri