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Friday, April 19, 2013

Track of the Moment: Don't Swallow The Cap by The National

     Nothing could really show my true excitement for The National’s new album, Trouble Will Find Me. Naturally, I chose to write about one of the pre-released tracks since the album won’t be out for another month. At first, I was expecting the album to be on more of a down slope after having to compete with such success from both Boxer and High Violet. The new album’s first single released was “Demons” which I have yet to warm up to. Then I heard “Don’t Swallow The Cap”, which I immediately favored more, and like every song of The National’s, it sounded better and better with every listen. This reminded me that The National has never failed in making great albums, so there should be no worries about this one.
     To me, The National stands out among other bands because of how much depth is in their music. The lyrics are genuinely intimate and open ended for interpretation. Every album revolves around something bittersweet and relatable that they could be considered “cold comfort music”. Alligator references the pains of past relationships, while Boxer best portrays the struggles between social classes. At times, their music can sound almost repetitive throughout their discography, but every album definitely deserves a listen. After all, why change something that continues to work?
     As the third track on the band’s sixth album, “Don’t Swallow The Cap” is typical National. From the springing notes to the beautiful chorus, the song is damn catchy. The lyrics continue to amaze me, with the title most likely referencing Tennessee Williams’ death, for Williams has made recurring appearances in The National’s music as a tragic character. The fact that there is lyrical continuity with every album makes frequent listeners feel at home with the new music. It is just as deep and intimate as anything that they have written. My favorite words are at the end when Matt Berninger sings “And if you want to see me cry / Play ‘Let It Be’ or ‘Nevermind’”.  
     If the rest of Trouble Will Find Me continues to express the positive elements displayed in "Don't Swallow The Cap", then this album will deserve its place between great releases like Boxer and Alligator

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