The National are releasing their eighth studio album I Am Easy to Find tomorrow, and ahead of its release, the band has dropped one last very special single. “Rylan” is a song that’s been kicking around since 2011, with the band playing it sporadically during the live shows. The first recorded version of it actually happened here, in the KEXP live room, when they added the song to the setlist for their 2017 KEXP in-studio performance as an incredibly special treat. Now, we finally get to hear “Rylan” in its full album-version glory.
Kick-started with booming drums, the song is filled out with female guest vocals and stringed instruments to make it one of the more lush and full singles we’ve heard from the new record. “Rylan” follows singles “Hairpin Turn,” “You Had Your Soul With You,” and “Light Years.” Frontman Matt Berninger said this of I Am Easy To Find:
"I’m pretty much just pulling apart the same onion and every album gets a little closer to the center. Sleep Well Beast was a dive into our marriage in some ways, but if that was a three-foot diving board, this one feels like a cliff dive into not just marriage, but identity. I don’t know if we’re any closer to the center of the onion, but I feel like I understand the onion a little better, and I feel better about the onion. I know that I am my dad, my mom, my daughter, my wife, my band, my friends, my grandmother, the guy who cut me off in traffic, the guy who didn’t cut me off in traffic. I am those experiences. I am those influences. This is just an aging bucket. All these records, and all these things, are my afterlife already."
The album will be accompanied by a short film of the same name directed by Mike Mills that stars Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina, The Danish Girl). The National will be touring behind the new record for the majority of the rest of the year and play Marymoor Park on Thursday, August 29.
Below, listen to “Rylan” and watch The National perform the song for their 2017 KEXP in-studio performance.
The National share the third single off the record, “Hairpin Turns,” via a black & white video from Mike Mills. Mills is also directing the companion short film, I Am Easy to Find, which will screen in select theaters this month.
It's the second single from their forthcoming album I Am Easy to Find