The National
Trouble Will Find Me


Regular price
$45.00 SGD
Regular price
Sale price
$45.00 SGD


A TAV Curator’s Pick.

Trouble Will Find Me, the most self-assured collection of songs produced by the National in its 14-year career, is a tribute to fully evolved artistic vision—and, somewhat less mystically, to sleep deprivation.

In January 2012, following a twenty-two month tour to promote the band’s previous record, High Violet, guitarist Aaron Dessner returned home to Brooklyn, where the fitfulness of his newborn daughter threw Aaron into a more or less sustained fugue state—“sleepless and up all the time,” as he puts it.  Punch-drunk, he shuffled into the band’s studio (situated in Aaron’s backyard), where he amused himself writing musical fragments that he then sent over to vocalist Matt Berninger.  Recalls Matt of Aaron, “He’d be so tired while he was playing his guitar and working on ideas that he wouldn’t intellectualize anything. In the past, he and Aaron’s twin brother, Bryce would be reluctant to send me things that weren’t in their opinion musically interesting—which I respected, but often those would be hard for me to connect to emotionally. This time around, they sent me sketch after sketch that immediately got me on a visceral level."

From beginning to end, Trouble Will Find Me possesses the effortless and unself-conscious groove of a downstream swimmer.  It’s at times lush and at others austere, suffused with insomniacal preoccupations that skirt despair without succumbing to it.  There are alluring melodies, and the murderously deft undercurrent supplied by the Devendorfs.  There are songs that seem (for Matt anyway) overtly sentimental—among them, the Simon & Garfunkel-esque 'Fireproof', 'I Need My Girl' (with Matt’s unforgettable if throwaway reference to a party “full of punks and cannonballers”) and 'I Should Live In Salt' (which Aaron composed as a send-up to the Kinks and which Matt wrote about his brother).

While a recognition of mortality looms in these numbers, they’re buoyed by a kind of emotional resoluteness—“We’ll all arrive in heaven alive”—that will surprise devotees of Matt’s customary wry fatalism. Then there are the songs that Aaron describes as “songs you could dance to—more fun, or at least The National’s version of fun.” These include 'Demons'—a mordant romp in 7/4, proof that bleakness can actually be rousing—and the haunting 'Humiliation' in which the insistent locomotion of Bryan’s snarebeat is offset by Matt’s semi-detached gallows rumination: “If I die this instant/taken from a distance/they will probably list it down among other things around town.”

Finally there are songs—like 'Pink Rabbits' and the lilting 'Slipped' (the latter termed by Aaron “the kind of song we’ve always wanted to write”)—that aspire to be classics, with Orbison-like melodic geometry. In these songs, as well as in 'Heavenfaced', Matt emerges from his self-described “comfort zone of chant-rock” and glides into a sonorous high register of unexpected gorgeousness.

The results are simultaneously breakthrough and oddly familiar, the culmination of an artistic journey that has led The National both to a new crest and, somehow, back to their beginnings—when, says Aaron, “our ideas would immediately click with each other. It’s free-wheeling again. The songs on one level are our most complex, and on another they’re our most simple and human. It just feels like we’ve embraced the chemistry we have.”- 4AD

“This is the sound of despair, according to singer Matt Berninger of the National: "If you want to make me cry," he claims early on this record, in "Don't Swallow the Cap," "play Let It Be or Nevermind." It is a surprising admission, given the Brooklyn band's established anguish on albums like 2007's Boxer and the 2010 bestseller, High Violet: a chaos of broken affections and mortal fears drawn with spare rhythmic and melodic flourishes, often in wide, open reverb. On much of Trouble Will Find Me as well, the terse phrases and single-tone exclamations of guitarists Bryce and Aaron Dessner hang around Berninger's baritone gravity like clouded starlight.

But there is pop, too: not much Beatles or Nirvana but enough pre-stadium U2 and classic David Bowie – that clarity and engagement – to draw you closer, faster, to the grace and crisis here. Berninger sings only of bad options in "Sea of Love" but does it against a sizzling pulse and a golden glaze of harmonies. In "Fireproof," his deep, scuffed voice is ringed with teardrop guitar. "I Need My Girl" is compact urgency with a dusky guitar figure that's actually a little country. In another age, the song could have been a radio-breakthrough single. Now it's just good news: The National are letting light and air into their shadows.” – Rolling Stone

About The National:

Formed in 1999, the Ohio-raised, Brooklyn-based band consists of vocalist Matt Berninger plus two pairs of brothers: Aaron Dessner (guitar, bass, piano) and Bryce Dessner (guitar), and Scott Devendorf (bass, guitar) and Bryan Devendorf (drums).

Early albums The National and Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers preceded their signing to Beggars Banquet in 2004. Alligator (2005), including 'Mr. November' and 'Daughters Of The Soho Riots', raised their profile as the band grew into a compelling and incendiary live proposition. Boxer (2007), featuring songs like 'Fake Empire', 'Mistaken For Strangers' and 'Start A War', sold over three times as many copies as its predecessor and saw them gracing the likes of the Letterman show and touring with REM. Barack Obama later used 'Fake Empire' in his election campaign, on the soundtrack to the promotional video Signs Of Hope And Change.

Since going the distance with Boxer, which along with Alligator has made countless “album of the decade” lists, The National have been, in the main, very busy. Aaron and Bryce produced Dark Was The Night. “That was a real undertaking,” says Aaron. The 31-track album to benefit the Red Hot Organization featured contributions from Arcade Fire, Bon Iver, Grizzly Bear, Yeasayer, and many others. It has so far raised close to $1,000,000. This allowed Red Hot to make donations to many AIDS charities, including an emergency grant of $150,000 to Partners In Health in Haiti, right after the earthquake. The Dessners also produced a sold-out concert for Dark Was The Night at Radio City Music Hall, at which The National performed as well as acts like David Byrne, Dirty Projectors, Feist and Bon Iver.

Trouble Will Find Me is The National's sixth album, and has been released to huge critical and commercial success, cemented by the band's celebrated live show.

Source: 4AD


Item description:


The National


Trouble Will Find Me




2 × Vinyl, LP, Album


UK, Europe & US

Release Date:



Indie, Rock


Indie Rock, Male Vocals

Catalog No: