The National on New Album: “What’s about to happen is something really different”

Band working on new album plus Grateful Dead album with huge collaborators

There’s a lot going on in the lives of the members of The National. Stereogum recently released a profile on the Brooklyn-based band, detailing their past, present and future, — namely what to expect from upcoming The National album.

Most of us are eager for a follow-up to 2013’s Trouble Will Find Me, and while the band is working on new material, for them there’s no rush. The good news is there is a lot of new material, at least 30 sketches of new songs (that we know of).

Trouble Will Find Me is definitely a bookend to a period of time,” says guitarist Bryce Dessner. “We’re not afraid, I think, to write hooks now,” of which frontman Matt Berninger says have made for “very fucking amazing songs.”

Aaron Dessner added, when writing new material they found themselves asking “Why didn’t we do that 15 years ago?”

In the meantime since their 2013 album, all members of the band have been involved in side-projects, to keep them fresh and excited about keeping the National going. El Vy is Matt Berninger’s latest project and the most notable of the bunch, aside from Aaron Dessner’s work as a producer on Mumford & Sons and Bon Iver albums.

Though soon the buzz will be turned to the the band’s Grateful Dead cover / compilation album. It’s expected to be released sometime early in the new year, but as word gets out on the collaborators on this album, hype will surely begin to bubble over. Lying somewhere between 25-30+ of the most seminal Grateful Dead covers, collaborators include: Justin Vernon, The Walkmen, Tunde Adebimpe of TV on the Radio, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Kurt Vile, The War on Drugs, Daniel Rossen of Grizzly Bear, J. Mascis and a whole lot more.

There’s been little released about this album, but artists have already been playing their versions of the covers live. Take a listen to The National’s Dead cover of “Peggy-O” below.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Main image courtesy of Stereogum