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The National

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Cincinnati, Ohio, USA (1999 – present)

The National is a Brooklyn-based band formed in 1999, by friends from Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. The band’s lyrics are written and sung by Matt Berninger in a distinctive, deep baritone. The rest of the band is composed of two pairs of brothers: Aaron Dessner (guitar, bass, keyboards), Bryce Dessner (guitar), Scott Devendorf (bass, guitar) and Bryan Devendorf (drums).

Their self-titled debut album”The National” (Brassland 2001) was recorded and released before they had played even a single show. They cut the album with engineer Nick Lloyd and formed a label with writer Alec Bemis, so those recordings could be released. Kerrang! magazine gave it four Ks, calling it “the stuff underground legends are made of.”

The National made a second album, “Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers” (Brassland/Talitres 2003). The staff was the same, though Peter Katis, who produced “Turn on The Bright Lights” and “Antics” by Interpol, helped produce and mix, and Australian composer Padma Newsome from Clogs collaborated on arrangements and strings.

Following the first session of several for Bernard Lenoir on France’s Radio Inter, an in-between EP was released, Cherry Tree, containing what would become the blueprint for the sound on their next record and the session of Sad Song’s standout Murder Me Rachael. After these accolades and being impressed by their live show, Roger Trust signed them to Beggars Banquet.

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