With an upcoming album and short movie ready for release in May, The National has unveiled another haunting track bound to leave listeners wanting more.

‘Light Years’ is the second single from the American alt rock band’s upcoming album, I Am Easy to Find. When compared to their first single ‘You Had Your Soul With You’, this song is definitely light years away from their usual stylistic choices.

The instrumentation is sparse with only a piano and light slide guitar taking centre stage. In fact, no percussive elements are present and it’s not noticeable at all. It’s clear the focus is on the vocals and lyrics. When it comes to this, lead singer Matt Berninger doesn’t disappoint. His low register and tone can come across as dull but in reality, it’s a perfect vessel for the sombre lyrics.

The song is the closing track to the upcoming album and it certainly feels that way. The lyrics talk of two people losing distance between each other in their relationship. The song’s title repeats over and over throughout the track. When the song reaches its penultimate point, it truly feels like the two lovers have ultimately lost each other.

The National – A Visual Companion

A short film will also accompany the band’s upcoming eighth studio album. Under the same title as the album, the movie is a visual companion. It’s a 24-minute piece directed by Mike Mills and stars Academy Award-winner Alicia Vikander. In a press release, Mills described both the movie and album as, “Playfully hostile siblings that love to steal from each other”. He explained the movie was “composed like a piece of music” and while is a visual companion to the album, it doesn’t necessarily have to be viewed that way. I Am Easy to Find (both album and movie) releases on May 17.

Pre-order the album here.

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Vivien Topalovic