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.
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.