The National – “Afraid Of Everyone” (Feat. Sufjan Stevens)

In Brandon’s beautiful review of the National’s excellent show at Bell House last month, he mentioned “Runaway,” a song that will be the slow jam of 2010. We’re still waiting on its studio form, but until then there is “Afraid Of Everyone,” which is another previously previewed in concert track and follows “Bloodbuzz Ohio” as an official blog-baiting MP3 for cheapskates. It’s ghostly and brassy, features Sufjan Stevens on background vocals, and builds patiently because it is the National, and its key refrain is evocative of the midlife issues Matt Berninger’s baritone chronicles so aptly: “With my kids on my shoulders I try not to hurt anybody out loud / But I don’t have the drugs to sort it out.” It’s more of a cultural crisis than a midlife one; we’re talking social disappointment, not agoraphobia. Download it.

The National – “Afraid Of Everyone”

High Violet is out 5/11 via 4AD.