The National appeared on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon last night and performed two songs from their upcoming 6th album Trouble Will Find Me. "Sea Of Love" was broadcast live while "I Need My Girl" was posted on Fallon's web site as a bonus performance.
I've done my best to avoid spoilers and continue to but I allowed myself to watch both of these performances. I've now heard three songs from the album. "Demons" was issued as the first single and I've downloaded it from iTunes. "Don't Swallow The Cap" was put on YouTube. I've waited to hear it. We now have these live performances.
"Sea Of Love" is intense and Matt Berninger sounds incredible in this performance. He doesn't have great range in terms of octaves but is growing more skilled as a vocalist and uses the volume dynamic to push and pull back. The National will never be confused for a hard rock band but this is a song with an edge and is also the track from which the album title is taken. "I Need My Girl" is also a terrific slow burner, a style and sound familiar to the band's fans. I'm initially more taken with "Sea" than "Girl" but love both. Add that to "Demons" and I'm already in love with this record three songs in. You can also check out their performance of songs from the new album shot at a surprise show they did in Berlin earlier this month. I might as well take the plunge and go listen to "Don't Swallow The Cap" but I'm not going to. Can we show a little discipline?