I'm finally listening to that new National track that played on some radio station and quickly made its way around the nerdy internet at light speed the other day. I think I read about it at work, downloaded it when I got home, passed out, worked all day, I don't know, it's all a blur, I finally just listened to it...like three times. And it's pretty fucking good. It's fitting, listening to this shitty radio rip because the first time I ever heard the National was on the radio, and no, it wasn't hip-cool college radio, it was on 96.5 the Buzz and I don't know why the hell I was listening to that station. I can't remember, but I do remember hearing the little lead-in bit with all the quick cuts and radio buzzing shit that was all "If you like Interpol, then the National is your new favorite band" and then busted out "Mistaken for Strangers." And I hated it immediately. Not for any real reasons, just because any band that allowed themselves to get sold like that must be in it for some dubious reasons.
And then blah blah blah, heard "Fake Empire" was like "oh gawd, this is so great" and now High Violet is most likely going to be the only new album I buy on vinyl this year. I might even avoid the leak when it inevitably gets shoved in my face. It's almost strange knowing that you're going to love an album. Almost like the opposite of disappointment. There was something about their performance of "Terrible Love" on Fallon that really just caught me, caught me in the same way that Grizzly Bear did when they played "While You Wait for the Others" on Conan a year and a half before Veckatimest came out and while I was mistaken about that record being as amazing as that song led me to believe, people still thought that album was way good. But after hearing "Bloodbuzz Ohio," goddamnit, I just want to put this at the number one record of 2010 spot and write a review about it before I ever even hear the fucker. In my head, this is what American music sounds like. There's something smoky and mysterious about their records, but also something that hits dangerously close to home. It's like the musical equivalent of an Edward Hopper painting. Deceptively simple sounding but remarkably complex and endlessly gratifying and never, ever outdated. I mean, as much as I love the Hold Steady with all my heart, and as much as I will love them until the day I die, their records are always going to remind me of my early 20s whereas these last couple National records and this forthcoming ones are going to be the shit kids are going to be combing used record stores for twenty years from now.
Hot damn! Apparently 4AD dropped a legit MP3 of "Bloodbuzz Ohio" after the radio rip leaked! Brilliant! It's a pretty fine song. As usual, it doesn't really jump out and completely knock you out right away, well, maybe it does for you. What I love about the National is the replay value. I listen to it once through, say "that was good" and immediately I'm listening to it ten times in a row and by the end of those ten times I've lost my shit. Images start sticking out as potent and gripping. "I was carried to Ohio in a swarm of bees." "Stand up straight at the foot of your love." It's just a goddamned beautiful song. I have about five or six more listens through this thing since I started this post and I think five or six more before I can get to sleep.
MP3>>>>>The National - "Bloodbuzz Ohio" (via highviolet.com)