has released their fourth single and video from their upcoming LP Sleep Well Beast,
"Day I Die." This single follows the others they've been putting out throughout the summer, "The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness," "Guilty Party," and "Carin at the Liquor Store." Each single was released with an accompanying video.
The video for "Day I Die," like all of the other videos, was directed by Casey Reas; this definitely explains the common theme of creative, experimental use of effects, software, and trippy coloring to take average, simple footage to a whole different level. For this particular video, Reas created a custom software to compile over 5,000 images taken from photographer Graham MacIndoe's time lapses of The National's Paris rehearsals. According to Reas, "A flickering color layer abstracted from broadcast television signals augments the black and white footage… The images are played back at 12fps, near the threshold of the persistence of vision."
The song starts off with shimmery synths right before the energetic drums and guitar come in. The catchy guitar riff that almost seems to give the song a sense of hope plays only between the verses and choruses, breaking for Berninger's gentle baritone voice. In typical fashion, lead singer Matt Berninger's lyrics are introspective and melancholy, meditating on the problems in a relationship. Lyrics like "I don't need you, I don't need you/Besides, I barely ever see you anymore/And when I do it feels like you're only halfway there," highlight a sense of detachment Berninger feels with the subject. Overall, the song pulls you in with Berninger's meditative musical and lyrical sense. Sleep Well Beast
comes out September 8th.