The National Keep Cool in New 'Catching Fire' Song

'Lean' set for soundtrack, which comes out November 19th

Matt Berninger of the National performs in London.
Burak Cingi/Redferns via Getty Images
November 7, 2013 11:25 AM ET

The National sound restrained and somber on "Lean," their new contribution to the Hunger Games: Catching Fire soundtrack. The band builds a moody texture of acoustic guitars and, later, violin embellishments as frontman Matt Berninger portends doom with lyrics like, "Everybody needs a prayer and needs a friend/Everybody knows the world's about to end." Throughout the song's four minutes, though, the band barely break a sweat, keeping their cool even as Berninger coos "Dying is easy" in the chorus.

The soundtrack will be released on November 19th. In addition to the National, it features songs by Christina Aguilera, Patti Smith, Sia, Lorde, Antony & the Johnsons, Santigold and more. The Catching Fire song "Atlas," by Coldplay, recently won the Hollywood Song Award from the Hollywood Film Awards. 

Behind the Scenes Photos from the 'Catching Fire' Set

Meanwhile, the movie, which follows up the wildly popular 2012 flick Hunger Games, comes out November 22nd. As seen in long and short trailers and clips from the movie, it finds actress Jennifer Lawrence reprising her role as Katniss Everdeen. As she attempts to celebrate a victory in the first movie, President Snow (Donald Sutherland) seeks to discredit her, leading her to take part in a high-stakes competition. This chapter in the four-part movie series, which is based on three books by Suzanne Collins, will see Philip Seymour Hoffman and Sam Claflin join the cast to play, respectively, Gatekeeper Plutarch Heavensbee and Finnick Odair. The final two films in the series are scheduled to come out in November 2014 and November 2015.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

More Song Stories entries »