The National Pick Their Favourite Tracks From The Albums That Inspired Them

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Brooklyn-based indie rock favorites The National release their sixth album Trouble Will Find Me on May 20. As well as some indelible tunes it also features a brace of special guests, including Sufjan Stevens, St Vincent’s Annie Clarke and Sharon Van Etten and Arcade Fire accordion ace Richard Reed Parry.

It’s destined to be treasured by many. But what are the albums that members of The National themselves hold dearest? Here’s a playlist selected by the band.

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Matt Berninger (vocalist)
Favourite album: Pavement - Slanted and Enchanted
"It's the record that made me think for the first time that maybe someday I could be in a band. They sounded, looked and acted nothing like what I thought rock stars were supposed to. They were like me. And the record has a weird effortless ramshackle brilliance that was so different than anything I'd ever heard."

 
Bryce Dessner (guitar)
Favourite album: Steve Reich - Music for 18 Musicians
“The original recording of Reich's masterpiece, this was the first album I heard where I understood how moving and infectious instrumental music can be.  The piece is an hour long and the pulsing instrumentation (voices, strings, clarinets, percussion, piano) is one of the most original sounds I have heard on record. Reich's music has been influential across all genres of music, especially in electronica and rock.”
 
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Aaron Dessner (guitar, keyboard)
Favourite album: Bob Dylan - Time Out of Mind
“This is my favorite latter day Dylan record. I think lyrically it is on par with Dylan's more revered early work, especially the raw and nostalgic meditations on his own mortality in "Not Dark Yet" and "Tryin to Get to Heaven." The swampy Daniel Lanois vibe has had a huge influence on my work as a producer and on our band in general...See ‘Slipped’ from our new album.”


Bryan Devendorf (drums)
Favourite album: Brightblack Morning Light - Motion to Rejoin
“Ethereal and atmospheric, this rainbow-powered recording casts an awesome, alluring spell and possesses some of the sweetest hi-hat sounds ever captured on tape. A great solitary listen—most ideally while on a spacewalk."

 
Scott Devendorf (bass)
Favourite album: Neil Young - Harvest Moon & Dreamin' Man '92
“I love the magic of these records, the studio versions of the songs (Harvest Moon) and the sparer live, solo versions (Dreamin' Man '92) — his voice, harmonies, and the organic quality to the playing and production is timeless. Though recorded in the early Nineties, in a way this could have been Neil Young in 1972 (Harvest) or 1980 (Hawks & Doves). The songs have a bittersweet longing & loss, punctuated with heavier themes: suicide, war, and letters to friends here and gone — and also songs about pet dogs [“Old King”]. I was at the end of a relationship then, and beginning a new one that which continues to today. Listening to these makes me look back over the years, and think about all the great times since. Thank you, Neil Young!"