The National continue the ramp up to the May 21 release of their sixth album Trouble Will Find Me with the release of a new video for "Sea Of Love." This is one of the two songs the band recently played on Jimmy Fallon and follows the video for "Demons" and the announcement of more tour dates for this summer and fall.
I wish I'd been able to see and hear "Sea Of Love" in its studio form before they premiered it on Fallon so I could tell you how great this was going to be live but we already know that; this is going to be one of the highlights of the new songs that will be part of this upcoming world tour. The National will likely be best known and remembered for their somber, quieter work and calling them a "rock band" can, at times, feel like a misnomer as they neither look nor do they often sound the part. It's easy to miss the intensity in their songs because they don't beat you over the head with it but it's there. You get that when you see them live and every once in awhile they let loose with it in the studio. This is one of those times. There is a ramshackle energy in the music and at times in Matt Berninger's vocal delivery (particularly in the live version) as the song builds and explodes. This isn't punk rock but there is something very punk about the way the song feels like it could fall apart as it gathers steam.
Drummer Bryan Devendorf is a vital part of their sound and the best musician in the band. His drumming is often subliminal and deceptively active beneath layers of atmosphere and murk. He doesn't go John Bonham or Ginger Baker on "Sea Of Love" but his propulsive beat is what controls the chaos without dousing the fury. He doesn't rely on dexterous fills or hitting the crash cymbal on the down beat in every measure. Hell- he doesn't hit the cymbals at all. Alex Van Halen would be catatonic if given only a snare drum!
"Sea Of Love" has me all the more eager for the release of Trouble Will Find Me and its upcoming tour.