BioThe National are a Brooklyn-based five-piece hailing from Ohio. The group contains two pairs of brothers - Bryce Dessner (guitars), Aaron Dessner (bass, guitars), Scott Devendorf (bass, guitar),and Bryan Devendorf (drums) - and features Matt Berninger on vocals. Padma Newsome, from labelmates Clogs, plays live with the band, and on Cherry Tree guests on viola and violin.
The National have drawn comparisons to Interpol, The Smiths, Tindersticks, and Tom Waits - the latter due to Berninger's shattered, beautiful earthquake of a voice, which recalls the holy trinity of Cave, Cash and Cohen. Although concerned with the forensics of heartbreak specifically and the human condition generally, the band are no mere copycats.
Upon releasing their sophomore album, Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers in September 2003, critics grasped for superlatives. Publications like UNCUT and The Chicago Tribune named it an album of the year, while Magnet hailed it as one of the year's "hidden gems." Billboard featured them as a "Hot Artist," CMJ named them a band "On the Verge."
In France, Sad Songs was such a sensation, renowned DJ Bernard Lenoir invited them to perform on his Black Sessions - following US buzz bands like The Rapture and Interpol. A track from that session, "Murder Me Rachel" occupies the warm-blooded heart of Cherry Tree, a 7-song collection that delves the depths and brings their tension-wire rock to new heights.
The past few months have found the band relentlessly touring Europe and the US - including a trip to SXSW, and dates with The Walkmen, French Kicks, Longwave, Pernice Brothers, 16 Horsepower, and Elefant.