The National Dishes on Grateful Dead Covers Comp, Their Own New LP

Dimitri Hakke/Redferns via Getty Images
Matt Berninger of The National performs on stage at Lowlands Festival at Evenemententerrein Walibi World on Aug. 16, 2014 in Biddinghuizen, Netherlands. 

The last we heard from the National -- from the studio at least -- was 2013’s sad and dreary (yet still Grammy-nominated) LP Trouble Will Find Me

Well, things are picking up in camp National. In Stereogum’s new cover story, the band discussed its next studio album (it sounds more fun!) and its next covers compilation for the HIV/AIDS benefit organization Red Hot (hope you like the Grateful Dead!). 

The Brooklyn-based quintet is in the early stages of crafting its next studio album, which guitarist Aaron Dessner called  "brighter" and "a little bit harsher" compared to past work. Vocalist Matt Berninger called 15 of the new songs "very fucking amazing" and Stereogum’s Ryan Leas called one song "a throwback to the up-tempo stuff on Alligator.” Yes, National -- hooks! "Mr. November"! You can do it!

The National Q&A on 'Weird' New Film, Dead Project, and What Makes a Bad Show

As for the Grateful Dead covers comp, expect to see it “early in 2016.” The National is curating it (in cooperation with Red Hot) and the Stereogum story reveals they have “somewhere in the neighborhood of 70 contributions.” 

Pitchfork shared some details on what to expect in the track listing:

The comp will feature the National, Bon Iver's Justin Vernon, Sharon Van Etten, the War on Drugs ("Touch of Grey"), the Walkmen ("Ripple"), Kurt Vile and J Mascis ("Box of Rain"), Tunde Adebimpe ("Playing in the Band"), Unknown Mortal Orchestra ("Shakedown Street"), Perfume Genius, Fucked Up, Grizzly Bear's Daniel Rossen ("Terrapin Station"), Phosphorescent ("Standing on the Moon"), Stephen Malkmus, Lee Ranaldo, and Yo La Tengo's Ira Kaplan.

This second National-assisted Red Hot album follows 2009’s critically-acclaimed Dark Was the Night, a two-disc set featuring originals from many of the same names above. 

We leave you with the National covering the Grateful Dead's "Peggy-O" this year in San Francisco:


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