BEST TRACKS: Quiet Light, Hey Rosey, Hairpin Turns, Rylan
I Am Easy to Find scored a 7.6 on Pitchfork and was ranked as the #1 album of 2019 on Sophie’s Floorboard, edging out PUP’s Morbid Stuff for first place, so I just had to check it out. At 64 hours, this album is The National’s longest yet. I admire that this album takes its time. At no point do I feel like the album was hurried or short-changed.
This album is all about subtlety, featuring soft piano, whispering strings, and humble percussion. The emphasis is placed on the vocals and lyrics. Front man Matt Berninger’s baritone voice intertwined with multiple female vocalists, including Gail Ann Dorsey, David Bowie’s backup singer, brings this album in a certain divine direction. Despite all the outside voices, this album sounds undeniably like a National’s album. All monologuing takes place elegantly and compliments the music, rather than stealing away the spotlight.
I Am Easy to Find sounds like a slow drive through the snowy hills of the countryside. This album expertly captures the quiet weightlessness of being alone and the vulnerability of the human condition. I Am Easy to Find would fit perfectly as the soundtrack to a movie about struggling lovers and fates that never line up. In fact, The National released an artful, black and white short film that shares the name of the album, directed by Mike Mill (20th Century Women), and starring Alicia Vikander (Ex-Machina).
In my heart of hearts, Morbid Stuff is still the #1 album of the year and that will never change. However, I Am Easy to Find is seriously amazing too, but in a different way, for a different audience, and I can certainly see why it receives all of the praise that it does. I recommend this album if you are in the process of finding self-love.