The National have established themselves as mainstays of arenas and festivals with sold-out performances and headlining slots around the world. With the release of their most recent album, 2017 GRAMMY award-winning Sleep Well Beast, The National achieved their highest chart position in the US to date, coming in at #2 on the Billboard Top 200. In addition they scored #1’s in the UK, Ireland, Portugal and Canada and their highest chart position ever in a total of eleven countries. The National also claimed their first #1 at commercial radio on the Triple-A radio chart with “The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness.” The songs off Sleep Well Beast are instantly recognizable as The National, but their sound has evolved and expanded.
“We didn’t feel like rushing it,” says Aaron Dessner, who produced Sleep Well Beast. “People thought the National went away, but we were just working on ideas.” With members now living in five different cities, the band made an extra effort to get together in the same room – sometimes in studios in upstate New York, or out in Los Angeles. “We’ve always worked on demos together,” explains Bryce Dessner (guitar). “But this time we were actually in the same physical space doing it.” “When we all lived in Brooklyn we rarely did these kinds of week-long sessions,” says Scott Devendorf (bass guitar). “This time we got together for long stretches, just to mess around and experiment without deadlines or distractions.”
Both individually and collectively The National’s members have been involved in countless artistic, charitable and socio-political pursuits. The group released “A Lot of Sorrow” documenting their collaboration with installation artist Ragnar Kjartansson, which took place at MOMA’s PS1 and saw the band play their song “Sorrow” for six hours in front of a live audience. They are behind the Red Hot benefit albums Dark Was The Night and Day Of The Dead, and the compilation boxed set titled 7-Inches for Planned Parenthood. Band members have received a Golden Globe Nomination for work on the score of the 2015 film “Revenant”, founded or play a major part in MusicNow, Eaux Claires and Haven Festival and Boston Calling, and participated heavily in both Obama Presidential Campaigns, and much more. The National consists of Matt Berninger (vocals) fronting two pairs of brothers: Aaron (guitar, bass, piano) and Bryce Dessner (guitar, piano), and Scott (bass, guitar) and Bryan Devendorf (drums).
Courtney Barnett is one of the most distinctive and compelling voices in indie rock, a singer-songwriter who mixes deeply insightful observations with devastating self-assessment. With countless awards in her home of Australia as well as Grammy and BRIT nominations, fawning press and an adoring audiences, Barnett’s rise to global prominence feels both unprecedented and important. Music fans have rarely witnessed the breathless acclaim and superlatives that comprised reviews of Barnett’s debut album Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Think — Rolling Stone praised her as “one of the sharpest, most original songwriters around — at any level, in any genre… a self-strafing humorist á la Lena Dunham who’s also a Dylan-style word ninja.”