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The National Renews Its Intensity On New Album

of the Oakland Press

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Cincinnati modern rockers The National carefully selected “Bloodbuzz Ohio” as the first single from its fifth studio album, “High Violet,” to send a message about the group’s intent this time out.

“We did want this record to be less restrained,” multi-instrumentalist and chief composer Aaron Dessner says of the record, which debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 in May. “We wanted more release and just some rougher edges to it.

“So ‘Bloodbuzz’ is, I think, a good indication of some texture and the feeling of the album. It’s a weird National song; it’s a quiet, fast song. Matt (Berninger) is singing in this beautiful, quiet way almost, but the music is raging around him. It’s very interesting.”

Dessner adds that the quintet considers “High Violet” “the best record we’ve made,” and that’s been borne out during concerts where The National has performed every song from it — something he says the group has never done before.

“It means we’re capable of playing all these songs, where on both (2005’s) ‘Alligator’ and (2007’s) ‘Boxer’ there were songs we couldn’t pull off well,” Dessner explains. “But we’ve found that playing these songs live ... we can bring them into another dimension and rediscover them in the live setting. That always makes it fun.”

The National and the Antlers perform Tuesday, Aug. 3, at the Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25. Call 248-399-2980 or visit www.royaloakmusictheatre.com.

Web Site: www.royaloakmusictheatre.com

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