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The National Preview New Record During "Special Evening"

Photos: Sachyn Mital

Inspired by their collaboration on Mike Mills' film I'm Still Here, the National are releasing I Am Easy to Find in May.

I Am Easy to Find
The National

4AD

17 May 2019

Following the release of the National's 2017 record, Sleep Well Beast, director Mike Mills reached out to the band with the idea of creating a film. Through their collaboration, Mills created the short I'm Still Here, starring Alicia Vikander, which features a score from the National. Work on the film is reflected on the band's new record, I Am Easy to Find (4AD), out on 17 May, which was played in full at the Beacon Theater on 22 April at the "special evening".

"Half of the songs were informed by the movie," noted lead singer Matt Berninger during a Q&A which followed the primarily black and white film starring Alicia Vikander. Mills, Berninger and Aaron Dessner were also part of the Q&A moderated by Julien Baker. In the film, Vikander's character aged but the actor's appearance never changed to reflect the age of the character's -- in contrast, you witness her family age. Through Vikander, subtitles and occasional frames of block color, Mills film left a strong mark on the audience. Following the film, the stage was reset for the musical portion.

The National returned to perform I Am Easy to Find in full accompanied by many guests. Musicians included Baker, Mina Tindle, Kate Stables (of This Is the Kit), the Brooklyn Youth Chorus and a number of performers including Yuki Numata Resnick and members of American Contemporary Music Ensemble. Highlights from the new record included "Oblivions" (Berninger deadpanned that there could be more than one), current single "Light Years" and "Where Is Her Head", which showcased the female vocalists. For their encore, the National fired off hits, "The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness", "Bloodbuzz Ohio", and "Fake Empire" getting the audience out of their seats for a massive sing-along.

The National will be touring the US in June and are screening the film two more times in the US, in L.A. at Ace Hotel Downtown (with Mike Mills and an album preview) and in NYC at BAM Rose Cinema (with the Mistaken for Strangers documentary) on 7 May.

TOUR DATES

6/11 - Philadelphia, PA @ Mann Center
6/12 - Brooklyn, NY @ Prospect Park Bandshell
6/15 - Manchester, TN @ Bonnaroo
6/16 - Atlanta, GA @ Coca-Cola Roxy
6/17 - St Augustine, FL @ St Augustine Amphitheatre
6/19 - Washington, DC @ The Anthem
6/20 - Portland, ME @ Thompson's Point
6/21 - Montreal, QC @ Place des Arts
6/22 - Hamilton, ON @ Pier 8
6/24 - Columbus, OH @ Express Live
6/25 - Ann Arbor, MI @ Hill Auditorium
6/26 - Indianapolis, IN @ Lawn at White River
6/28 - Chicago, IL @ Northerly Island


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