The National - Trouble Will Find Me

The National make brooding, big-tent indie rock better than just about any band on the face of the planet, and they’ve just announced the impending release of Trouble Will Find Me, their sixth studio album. We’ve got the details and the tracklist below.

Singer Matt Berninger calls the self-produced album “immediate and visceral,” which are words that I like, especially if it means they’re going back to their old Alligator-era intensity. In a press release, Aaron Dessner says, “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.”

Just before the album drops, Matt’s brother Tom Berninger will debut Mistaken For Strangers, his documentary about the National. It’ll open the Tribeca Film Festival on the evening of 4/17.


01 “I Should Live In Salt”
02 “Demons”
03 “Don’t Swallow The Cap”
04 “Fireproof”
05 “Sea Of Love”
06 “Heaenfaced”
07 “This Is The Last Time”
08 “Graceless”
09 “Slipped”
10 “I Need My Girl”
11 “Humiliation”
12 “Pink Rabbits”
13 “Hard To Find”

Trouble Will Find Me is out 5/21 on 4AD.

Comments (52)
  1. that cover is so awesome

  2. Is 06 “Heavenfaced” ?

  3. Aw yisssssss. The National are my favorite new band of the past ~10 years.

  4. So “I Need My Girl” is the only one of the 5+ new songs they’ve been playing that made the album. Interesting. On their instagram, they put up a photo of a whiteboard and on one side were most of these tracks, and on the other side were songs all named for people, including Sullivan, Rylan, and Lola. I really liked all of those songs, so I hope we’ll end up hearing a lot of them. Either way, sooooo psyched for this album it’s crazy.

  5. I think the names were The Dessners’ working titles. Lola = I Should Live In Salt, Prime = Graceless. Don’t know about Sullivan. Some titles on the final track list weren’t on the whiteboard, so there may have been some title changes. Not expecting to hear Rylan on this, though.

    • I just listened to the live performances of these songs. They do line up on the whiteboard. Lola has the words “I should live in salt” in the chorus, and Sullivan has the word “tunnelvision” in it’s chorus. They are both fantastic songs.

  6. this is some exciting news indeed

  7. bar a few songs from boxer and alligator and the first half of high violet this band bores me. is it because of language barrier? in indie rock lyrics play a huge role, I know and usually songs don’t differ in style very much. I dunno. I still like a few songs and even HALF of High Violet so downvote me, please

    havent’ heard first and second albums but I guess they are shitty. oh and 2004 EP bores me too. listened to that twice and couldn’t remember one song. absolutely can’t ham single tune from it

    • and even if I’m TRY to properly pay attention to the lyrics, I still get distracted very easily.. and.. this is not the way you’re supposed to listen to music, right? reading lyrics to every song in the process. so what do i say.. you all are luck to have English as native language

    • My advice to people who find the National boring is to pay attention to the drums. The drums in almost every song are surprisingly intricate, and paying attention to them can help bring your attention to the rest of the things the song is doing.

      Second piece of advice: find videos of them performing live. There’s an entire concert they had professionally filmed on YouTube, which is handy. They’re much more intense live.

      All that said, I adore the National deeply, but I can’t begrudge people who find them boring. There are a whole bunch of indie bands who sound boring until something clicks in your head, and then suddenly they’re great. For the National, I think the drumming and the lyrics are often what makes them click, but it’s still just personal preference. Still, though, you should check out their live videos. They’re pretty great.

  8. Maybe they’ve waited too long since the last album to capture the buzz, but I feel like these guys will eventually end up being one of those huge stadium bands like Coldplay.
    The music seems built for it, and I’ve never met a person who didn’t like them.

    • They’re a bit brooding and morose for that, I think. Their songs can be anthemic, but none of them are really uplifting.

      • I dunno man, seeing “England” live was one of the more uplifting experiences I’ve had, lyrics be damned.

      • Not uplifting? Slow Show? Fake Empire? Bloodbuzz Ohio? I could go on and on. I find them one of the most uplifting bands out there. I think part of the reason they’re not huge is that they can take a lot of listening to. They’re lyrics are extremely intelligent so they don’t have the immediate appeal to the masses like Coldplay do. In all seriousness, though, Coldplay aren’t a patch on The National.

    • After the popular breakthrough that Boxer was, I feel like they would have already Coldplay-ed it by now if they were going to do so. I think were safe (please let us be safe).

  9. So Graceless = Sullivan? nice

  10. Here’s to hoping that ‘I Should Live In Salt’ is a song about slugs.

  11. YES PLEASE. Such a fantastic cover. I’ve been dying to hear a studio version of I Need My Girl and thrilled it’s on this album. High fives all around.

    And it comes out the day I start my new job, so I’ll have the most awesome work music.

  12. so are we done with upvotes/downvotes now?

  13. Super excited.

  14. If this contains 13 songs better than Rylan then album of the year is pretty much sown up.

  15. I hope Peter Katis not being behind the boards for most of these mixes doesn’t work to the album’s detriment. He’s got a phenomenal sound that has worked really well with that band for the last 3 albums. High Violet is such a dark mix, with almost no high end, and it sounds all the more fantastic for the lack of treble. Those mixes served those songs perfectly. And there’s certainly nothing negative anyone can say about the sound of Boxer either…

    I have some reservations about the change in production duties, but I’m still psyched for a new National album. They’ve been one of my favorite bands of the last several years.

    • The guy who mixed this, Craig Silvey, recently mixed the new Frightened Rabbit album, so I’m pretty optimistic. I will miss Katis, though. On a side note, I hear he’s working with We Are Augustines right now, which is excellent.

  16. i’m bringing this over from another thread…”can someone please explain The National to me?! i just don’t get it. they seem so very bland and boring and unremarkable to me. i must be missing something”

    • If you don’t like it, no amount of “explanation” is going to make you like it. Some people like the tunes and identify with the lyrics, that’s all there is to it. But here goes anyway:

      The drumwork is really tight and inventive. Matt Berninger’s world-weary baritone is amazing. The songs are dark and dour without being overly depressing. They communicate a very particular sort of urban melancholy. The lyrics generally deal with alienation from middle-class urban existence, something which I think a lot of people identify with. Stuff like “Said you stayed at home alone with the flu/ I find out from friends that that wasn’t true/ Go out at night with your headphones on again/ and walk through the Manhattan valleys of the dead” is something that many folks can relate to. So yes, they are a Serious band and if you like your indie rock to be Fun, it can seem boring at best and Whining About First World Problems at worst. But to me, it never comes off as whiny or melodramatic, it just feels… comforting.

      • thanks for the explanation, i really appreciate it. i’ll give ‘em another crack based on it

      • Oh god, what indie band would possibly meet the criteria of not whining about “first world problems”? Art exclusively about, say, the necessity for clean drink water or the dissemination of cheap prophylactics seems like it would be pretty awful.

  17. I’m a huge fan. Discovered them on Boxer and went back and bought all the early stuff and devoured High Violet. Still not sure why “Conversation 16″ wasn’t like the most popular song of the year…anyway. I’ve never seen them live other than snippets on youtube, etc. But I watched them on Austin City Limits a week or so back and they sounded TERRIBLE. I mean, just absolutely atrocious. They were on the same night as Band of Horses who sounded fantastic and I’m hardly a fan of theirs. So, I guess it’s a bit weird and sad that all of a sudden, just based on that one performance, I’m sort of soured on them…and I’m not sure I had been as amped for a new release as I had been for “Trouble” and now…I’m not sure. Anyone else catch the ACL show? Can anyone assure me it was just a throwaway show or do they have a hard time translating live? That’s a huge thing for me: bands sounding amazing on record and rubbish live. That’s huge in my book. One reason I give Kings of Leon a lot of credit as much abuse as they take. They smash it live and for that they deserve mass credit. Anyway…I

    • From what I know and have heard (never seen ‘em – yet), The National is typically ranked as one of the best live bands out there, at least among the indie crowd. I know they do change up their songs live a little bit, making them a bit heavier and, for lack of a better word, “rocking” than they are on the record (I think “Mistaken for Strangers” is a good example of this). I haven’t seen that specific ACL show, but the stuff I HAVE seen – Coachella stream and other streams of that nature – has always been top-notch.

    • They are one of the best live bands I’ve seen. I’ve seen them three times now and would again.

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