The National have been working on “Rylan” for a long time. They first performed the song way back in December of 2011 — it even made it onto our list of the National’s best songs back in 2013 — but after a few fleeting performances, “Rylan” disappeared from their live show for the better part of a decade. Only in the last two years has it reemerged to become a setlist mainstay. And now the song is finally getting official release.
I Am Easy To Find, the National’s sprawling, moody, experimental new album, is out tomorrow. “Rylan” is on the tracklist, and on the eve of release, the band has decided to share it as one final pre-release single. It’s arguably the best song they’ve shared from I Am Easy To Find so far, making good use of the album’s signature touches — the orchestral flourishes and myriad female guest vocals — while still coming off like a classic National song. (Real heads know that hard-hitting Bryan Devendorf backbeat is as essential as Matt Berninger’s poetic brooding.)
I Am Easy To Find is out 5/17 on 4AD.