Here at F|S we anxiously await the release of The National’s follow-up to 2013’s Trouble Will Find Me. Sadly, according to frontman Matt Berninger’s comments in a Facebook Q&A session last November, the Brooklynites won’t be offering much new in 2016, which perhaps comes as little surprise, since most members of the band are quite busy with other endeavors.


First up is EL VY, a collaboration between Berninger and Brent Knopf, the Portland musician and producer best known for his work in Ramona Falls and his previous band, Menomena. As most critics have noted, the record is a “departure” for Berninger—with its pop ebullience and keyboard-centric sonics, if not its cheeky lyrics—and, of course, Pitchfork panned it. (I rather liked it.) If you’ve not heard the bubbly melody of the record’s first single, “Return to the Moon (Political Song for Didi Bloome to Sing, with Crescendo)” wafting past you at Starbucks (and you probably have), check out the video below.


And on deck: The National’s steadfast rhythm section, brothers Scott and Bryan Devendorf, will release this month their collaboration with Ben Lanz of Beirut, LNZNDRF (the acronym spells their names, minus vowels, of course). Here’s what the boys have to say about their work:

LNZNDRF’s debut is rock minimalism meets sonic maximalism. Recorded in a church in Cincinnati over two and a half days, the eight songs on the album were improvised with a vital spirit harking back to the reason the members became musicians in the first place. The songs, which were edited from 30+ minute jams, evoke the essence of their expansive, largely improvised live shows.




And here’s the video for “Beneath the Black Sea”—live, of course.

LNZNDRF will play a handful of shows in the next month, and their album drops on the 19th (on 4AD).

Feb. 19 — London, England – Oslo
Feb. 21 — Brussels, Belgium – Botanique-Rotonde
Feb. 23 — Berlin, Germany – Grüner Salon
Feb. 25 — Berlin, Germany – Kantine am Berghain
Feb. 26 — Berlin, Germany – Cassiopeia
Mar. 05 — New York, NY – Mercury Lounge


Finally, if you’ve a hankering for Berninger’s signature baritone and the group’s searing live act, you can make your way to one of these upcoming shows (most of which will require substantial air travel0:

The National Tour Dates


9 – Auckland, N.Z. — Auckland City Limits
25 – Byron Bay, Aus. — Byron Bay Bluesfest


11 – North Adams, MA — MASS MoCA
23 – Odense, Den. @ Tinderbox Festival
24 – Beuningen, Ned. — Down the Rabbit Hole


12 – Pistoia, Ita. — Pistoia Blues Festival
14 – Lisbon, Port. — Super Bock Super Rock
17 – Dublin, Ire. — Longitude Festival
28 – Los Angeles, CA — Greek Theatre
29 – Berkeley, CA — Greek Theatre
31 – Morrison, CO — Red Rocks Amphitheatre