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The National Vinyl, CD & tapes by The National at Norman Records

Baritone brooder Matt Berninger hangs out with two sets of brothers -- the Dessner guitarists and the Devendorf rhythm section -- and forms a band. Originally a fairly punky, snide proposition, they’ve become more inwardly anxious, using ornate ins...read more »

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The National
I Am Easy To Find

Album number 8 from Ohio success story The National. I Am Easy To Find is not just an album, it's also a short film directed by Mike Mills - the guy who directed 20th Century Women, not the R.E.M bassist. Mills co-produced the album with the band. It includes guest performances from a whole host of artists including Sharon Van Etten and Lisa Hannigan. 
  • Artist(s):
  • The National
  • Label(s):
  • 4AD

The National
You Had Your Soul With You / Hairpin Turns

Almost as exciting as the actual sound of their music is this chance to get a very limited single by The National. The record company have kept it oh-so-secret but, as you know, they have a new album out soon so you would think that the main track is off that and the B side is exclusive to this. It won't be around long so get your mitts on it or weep forever. 
  • Artist(s):
  • The National
  • Label(s):
  • 4AD

Big Red Machine
Big Red Machine

Ahh these minstrels will soothe my jangled nerves. Big Red Machine is a collaborative record between Bon Iver Sadboy 2.0 Justin Vernon and Aaron Dessner, songwriter and guitarist in The National. Dessner seems to be at the desk on this one, while Vernon's doubling down on his 808s And Heartbreaks-in-a-forest thing. It won’t come as a surprise for us to tell you that Big Red Machine’s self-titled debut LP is the most earnest album ever made.

The National
The National

Before Trouble Will Find Me, before High Violet, before Boxer - hell, even before flipping Alligator - The National were just one of many NYC bands jostling for attention in the fallow years between Sonic Youth’s early successes and the coming of The Strokes. The band’s eponymous LP was released in the same year as Is This It, but as we all know Dessner, Berninger et al would have to wait a few years for their turn. That’s no comment on the quality of this, their debut full-length - the blend of alt-country, Americana and indie-rock here laid the foundations for the group's later successes.
  • Artist(s):
  • The National

The National
Boxer: Live In Brussels

Well, it's Boxer by the National, but live. In spite of album artwork that clearly indicates the band performing their music out at a respectable function hall, the original record was a studio undertaking. True. Now coloured in, that artwork makes true on its former lie because it's Boxer by the National, but live. In Brussels. Two weeks ago this was a Record Store Day release. 
  • Artist(s):
  • The National
  • Label(s):
  • 4AD

The National
The Virginia EP

Cast your mind back to 2007 - ‘Umbrella’. The Pick Of Destiny. Hilary Duff. Then The National's Boxer came out and suddenly people couldn’t get a enough of the dapper Manhattanites and their stylised Americana. A year later the band were big enough to curate an ATP lineup and have a documentary made about them. The Virginia EP, a collection of B-sides and rarities from the Boxer sessions, was released around the same time in order to tide over the band’s new fanbase until High Violet dropped.
  • Artist(s):
  • The National

The National
Trouble Will Find Me

Trouble Will Find Me was probably the moment that slow burning Brooklyn band the National finally reached maximum exposure. It received the kind of dizzying accolades that would ensure it would sit on the shelves of even those listeners who rarely buy music. Their subtle and ruminative rock has a kind of quality that suggests it could be listened to just as effectively whilst putting the washing on than it would be on a close headphone listen. A band the words 'well crafted' were invented for.  
  • Artist(s):
  • The National
  • Label(s):
  • 4AD

The National
Sleep Well Beast

The National have slowly seeped into our consciousness over the past few years simply by selling truckloads of records and becoming a thing we regularly compare other bands to when at a loss to describe moody rock music. Their success really is quite remarkable. Anyway here’s another album which contains more of their dramatic dark rock with some electronic bits bolted on. If you like The National you are going to love it. 
  • Artist(s):
  • The National
  • Label(s):
  • 4AD

The National
High Violet

The National just keep going from strength to strength. High Violet was their 2010 album and as with all their other releases it received both critical and commercial acclaim. Their warm heart-on-sleeve form of heartland rock seems to appeal to everyone  - older music listeners, hipsters, babies. They could probably teach a course in how to write mature and poetic indie-rock and they certainly already have the hip lecturer look down pat.  
  • Artist(s):
  • The National
  • Label(s):
  • 4AD

The National
Boxer

The National's slow but steady rise to popularity is a well timed heart warm for anyone frustrated with the here today, gone tomorrow nature of modern music. Like R.E.M before them it took a good few albums before they got stadium sized. 'Boxer' was their fourth album and could be said to be the one where the band truly broke through. It catches the band honing their brand of emotional, poetic rock music ready for the big league and features a nice cameo from neighbourhood pal Sufjan Stevens.  
  • Artist(s):
  • The National

The National
Alligator

In the story of The National it is generally understood that 2007’s Boxer was their breakthrough LP. While that was undoubtedly a big moment for the group, this narrative does something of a disservice to the band’s preceding record Alligator, an album which has shifted an impressive amount of units and placed high on many ‘Best of 2005’ polls. It’s more than deserving of a re-press, which it now gets courtesy of Beggars Banquet. As for what Alligator sounds like? Well, it sounds like The National.
  • Artist(s):
  • The National

Various
Day Of The Dead EP

Remember that 'Day of the Dead' mammoth compilation thingy the National curated? Well 4AD have released a limited edition 12" vinyl of the four song 'Terrapin Station (Suite)' with folks from Grizzly Bear, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, TV on the Radio, Sonic Youth and of course the National present. All profits with go to the Red Hot Organisation to help fights HIV and AIDS around the world. 

The National
A Lot Of Sorrow

An experiment in how far one track’s emotional resonance can be help through repetition by The National and Icelandic performance artist Ragnar Kjartansson. The entire performance features the track Sorrow played repeatedly for six hours. 105 versions are here on clear vinyl in a deluxe LP box set from 4AD. Exhausting and evocative.
  • Artist(s):
  • The National
  • Label(s):
  • 4AD
  • Artist(s):
  • The National
  • Label(s):
  • 4AD

The National
Cherry Tree

Though it was released mere months before KT Tunstall’s Brit-country classic ‘Black Horse And The Cherry Tree’, this 2004 EP from The National is ostensibly an unrelated work. Mind you, we reckon ol’ KT would go for a bit of the group's spit-and-sawdust balladry, so who’s to say? The group were several years off being the arena-bothering band they are now, something which explains the more modest sound of the recordings here. Quite a few of the tracks are not dissimilar to what Nick Cave was doing around the same time.
  • Artist(s):
  • The National

The National
Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers

Say what you like about The National, but they sure do know how to market themselves. This is no surprise, really - singer Matt Berninger worked in advertising during the ‘90s boom in NYC before quitting to pursue The National full-time. As such, he probably knew that calling the group’s sophomore LP Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers was a shrewd move. It also set up The National’s audience nicely for the huge successes of the band’s subsequent full-lengths. Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers is the first of The National’s albums to be produced Peter Katis and feature Bryce Dessner on various instruments.
  • Artist(s):
  • The National

The Dirty Projectors and David Byrne/The National
Knotty Pine/Once Around the Bend (Dark Was the Night)


  • Artist(s):
  • The National
  • Label(s):
  • 4AD
  • Artist(s):
  • The National