Music News

The National

Matt Berninger's warbling baritone has the gruff, amber warmth of whiskey. As intoxicating as his band's songs are, it's arguable that his voice is at least 80 proof by itself. Berninger, of course, is frontman for the National, a gorgeously morose outfit that has become one of the brightest talents in indie rock. He already had a career and a life when he formed the National in 1999, but the graphic designer quit his Brooklyn day job to go on tour behind the group's 2005 effort, Alligator. That disc was the second release in a slow-burning cycle of records capped by this year's nuanced and well-received High Violet. Stage fright has been known to temper Berninger's fury live, but a packed crowd and a carafe of white wine ought to loosen him up — well, as much as a depressed, self-effacing intellectual can loosen up, that is.

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Elke Mermis
Contact: Elke Mermis