The National

I have recently discovered that I really like The National, the band from New York, that is - and after I saw the way they present their new album, 'Sleep Well Beast', which came out a few weeks ago, I have decided to become a fan, and take it from there...

They had none other than Pentagram design a whole corporate branding package, slightly as a bit of a joke, I guess. But it's so super elegant! Read a lot more about it here.

But enjoy a couple of samples here, and - of course - check out the album, it sounds great. 

I really love the use of the two intense shades of blue, with just a touch of red here and there, and the grainy monochrome photos. But some of it HAS to be an absolute corporate-identity-joke, I mean, a stapler...? A tape-dispenser (and even tape)...? That's so funny.

But actually my interest in The National started last year, at Copenhagen Contemporary this really great (but temporary, sadly) art venue here in Cph.

Last year they had the Icelandic video artist Ragnar Kjartansson's project 'A Lot of Sorrow' on the programme, a film about a rather unusual performance: In 2013, at MoMA in  New York, the band played their song 'Sorrow' non stop for six hours in front of an audience. Ragnar Kjartansson - who came up with the idea - also filmed this epic display of patience and endurance.

And at CC they showed an edited version of the performance (and also had a few full length screenings), and I guess we walked into some part in the later half, where the band is in a state of exhausted deep, deep concentration and commitment to the song. It had a mesmerizing, weird effect, that repetition - and though the song is simple, gloomy and not very long, it somehow really grows on you. Grows into you, almost.

It is really worth checking out this fascinating project, if it is shown anywhere near you.


Here is a little film about it from Louisiana Channel

There is a full length but audio only version on YouTube.

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