I must admit, it took me a little while to warm up to The National. My first impressions of the Ohio five-piece were clouded by Matt Berninger’s growling unconventional vocals; they seemed to rub me the wrong way for some reason. It wasn’t until I discovered their 2007 album The Boxer that I realized I had mistaken these strangers for foe and that it was my own stubbornness that had created an unwarranted distaste for such great band. Having not released any music since their 2013 album Trouble Will Find Me, Sleep Well Beast is a nice change of pace. So, without further ado, I give you Walk It Back.
Without trying to crowd this post with stories of my own National enlightenment, I think it’s relevant to point out that what first caught my attention was the band’s undeniable musicianship. Walk It Back starts with a simple, sci-fi-esque synth melody but rather quickly transforms into an ethereal journey that builds momentum through obscure vocal samples, a soft poignant guitar and of course Berninger’s raw vocals. Walk It Back feels like it would fit perfectly alongside an OK Computer inspired playlist with its melancholic cosmic glitchiness and heavy, obscure content. The attached recording is a little different to the version that features on Sleep Well Beast but it’s kind of cool in its own right. Give it a go below.