Trouble Will Find Me, the most self-assured collection of songs produced by The National in its 14-year career, is a tribute to fully evolved artistic vision—and, somewhat less mystically, to sleep deprivation.
Last January, following a twenty-two month tour to promote the band’s previous record, High Violet, guitarist Aaron Dessner returned home to Brooklyn, where the fitfulness of his newborn daughter threw Aaron into a more or less sustained fugue state—“sleepless and up all the time,” as he puts it. Punch-drunk, he shuffled into the band’s studio (situated in Aaron’s backyard), where he amused himself writing musical fragments that he then sent over to vocalist Matt Berninger.
Recalls Matt of Aaron, “He’d be so tired while he was playing his guitar and working on ideas that he wouldn’t intellectualize anything. In the past, he and Aaron’s twin brother, Bryce would be reluctant to send me things that weren’t in their opinion musically interesting—which I respected, but often those would be hard for me to connect to emotionally. This time around, they sent me sketch after sketch that immediately got me on a visceral level."