The National are an Americana rock band based out of Brooklyn, New York. Originally hailing from Cincinnati Ohio however, they’ve a slow tempo, tasteful, light country influence to their sound making them accessible to all audiences. Lead singer Matt Beringers baritone voice has a tranquil composure to it that complements the easy listening nature of their music, and together with the backing of the band creates an array of musical artistry that is as emotionally invigorating as it can be piercingly haunting . He stands as frontman and lyricist and is supported by two pairs of brothers, Aaron and Bryce Dessner both of who play keyboards and guitar with Bryce also contributing with bass; Scott and Bryan Devendorf, with Scott playing bass and guitar and Bryan on percussion. A brass section regularly features and tours with the band also. After the formation and dissolution of a couple of bands involving several members of the team, The National finally formed in 1999 and released their debut self title in 2001. The album was a little raw with average album sales, yet received some promising reviews. After a couple more releases gaining them a little more coverage, the band went on to release for them what was their first great step to notoriety. Alligator released in 2005 received widespread critical acclaim, however this wasn’t mirrored in album sales coming in at only 165 in the charts. Despite this, music journalists now had them on their radar and momentum was gathered. 2008’s Boxer built on their previous release and expanded their sound with mild electronic influence and passionate, sharp, inspired musicianship that left you craving more. The album put them in the spotlight not only in the US but across the world for the first time in their career and was hailed as best album of the year by stereogum and paste magazine, while other reputable sources such as pitchfork named Boxer as one of the albums of the decade. However despite the hype and respect the band had achieved, this was still not mirrored by album sales where they failed to break into more main mainstream audiences.
Things were to change however and in 2010 they triumphantly released High Violet where it catapulted to the top 5 in 9 countries. The album represents their most polished work to date and the breakthrough album they were craving. Performances on Late Night with Conan, Jimmy Fallon Live and playing major festivals around the world has seen them heralded as one of the biggest bands of the moment. Slow and steady has been the platform for The National’s rise to fame and in doing so they’ve not compromised the integrity of their music, which is something seen far too often in today’s market and something which has earned them an army of die hard fans.