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coverpic flag US - New York - Full Moon 215 - 03/16/14

The National
I Need My Girl
4AD / Playground

The 'band of brothers' rides again, but in fact "I Need My Girl" is a single taken from last year's album Trouble Will Find Me. The reason for releasing this as a single (the album's fourth) now is the accompanying music video: a static dance-grace, directed by Sophia Peer (who's made music videos for two other songs off The National's Trouble Will Find Me, as well as videos for Yeasayer, Woods, Air Waves, Forest Fire, plus others). See the video, or simply listen to the fine song, which is a classic The National ballad.

The song writing is credited to the band, but singer Matt Berninger is the of course the lyricist. He is backed by guitar-and-keyboard-brothers Aaron Dessner and Bryce Dessner, and rhythm-brothers Bryan Devendorf (drums) and Scott Devendorf (bass guitar). Yes, there is a brother Berninger as well: check the hilarious documentary film Mistaken For Strangers. Anyway, "I Need My Girl" is a ballad of a man's longing, longing for his girl. Whether Berninger writes 'fiction' or not, he does have a good grip on rough-cut, no bullshit drama song-prose:

I am good, I am grounded
Davy says that I look taller
I can't get my head around it
I keep feeling smaller and smaller
I need my girl. I need my girl

Remember when you lost your shit and
Drove the car into the garden
And you got out and said I'm sorry
To the vines and no one saw it
I need my girl. I need my girl

There's some things that I should never
Laugh about in front of family
I'll try to call you from the party
It's full of punks and cannonballers
I need my girl. I need my girl

BUT. There is more to this single than "I Need My Girl". The 'flip-side', or bonus-track, is a fine cover of Mike Hadreas' (a.k.a. Perfume Genius) stunning "Learning", the title track from Perfume Genius' 2010 album Learning (it's a bleak and beautiful listen - not for the faint-hearted). Check this song as well, and check the original while you are at it. Perfume Genius/Hadreas is a dead serious artist, with his mind/soul turned inside/outside. His straight-forward, harsh lyrics and stripped songs make Morrissey seem like a jolly cabaret singer.

Copyright © 2014 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our National articles/reviews: The Corner Hotel, Melbourne, AUSTRALIA, 19.1.08, Trouble Will Find Me.

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