Following on quickly from 2017's Sleep Well Beast, The National return with a new record and working ethos. By employing the vocal talents of an impressive array of female co-conspirators, the songs on I Am Easy To Find are delivered and received in an almost confessional manner. And then there's the little matter of the Mike Mills documentary, which i'd still not seen at the time of writing...
Gail Ann Dorsey (David Bowie's talented long-serving bass player ) adds gravitas to excellent album opener You Had Your Soul With You. This sets the tone for the whole record. Her smooth and expressive vocal talents grace a number of the tracks here, including the excellent I Am Not In Kansas where she is ably joined by Lisa Hannigan and Kate Stables (This Is The Kit) in the form of a drifting vocal choir. It's interesting to note that even though lead singer Matt Berninger isn't an ever present here-these are all still easily identifiable as National songs. Plaintive piano, widescreen guitar and shifting rhythms let you know you are still very much in their world.
Mina Tindle adds haunting vocals to Oblivions, whilst the Brooklyn Youth Choir take Her Father In The Pool to another level completely. I'm reminded of Kate Bushs' glorious re-interpretation of older tracks on her Director's Cut album-the same adult yearning permeates through the whole of I Am Easy To Find.
Today's particular favourites are side four's Rylan and melancholy Light Years, but this double album works best when listened to as a whole...not an easy thing in today's hectic, easily-disturbed world...but try to do this if you can!
Standard Edition - 2LP on clear vinyl
Deluxe Edition - On Red, Grey and Yellow etched vinyl - 3LP includes the full 2LP album + a bonus LP featuring 22 minutes of music from the 'I am Easy to Find' film score (exclusive to the vinyl release!) . With poster and booklet.