The National unveiled a foreboding new track, “The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness,” from their upcoming seventh LP, Sleep Well Beast, out September 8th via 4AD.
“The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness” blends elements of the National’s signature indie rock anthems with a shot of disco funk. A shuffling drum beat and a grimy guitar loop mix with a slow-burning blend of piano, synths and horns that rise at the end with Matt Berninger’s rousing plea, “I can’t explain it/ Any other, any other way.” The National also shared a video for “The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness,” in which simple scenic shots are frantically warped into glitchy pictures.
Sleep Well Beast marks the National’s first album since their 2013 record, Trouble Will Find Me. The band recorded the album primarily at guitarist Aaron Dessner’s studio, Long Pond, in Hudson Valley, New York, while additional sessions took place in Berlin, Paris and Los Angeles. Dessner produced the record with his brother, guitarist Bryce Dessner, and Berninger.
Sleep Well Beast is available to pre-order digitally, as well as on CD and double LP.
The National have two international festival dates scheduled for this summer and will kick off a world tour in support of Sleep Well Beast with a slate of U.K. dates in September. The band will embark on a quick North American tour October 5th at the Wang Theatre in Boston, close out the month in Europe and then return to the U.S. for another run November 27th in Portland. Tickets go on sale May 19th, while a pre-sale begins May 15th.
Sleep Well Beast Track List
1. “Nobody Else Will Be There”
2. “Day I Die”
3. “Walk It Back”
4. “The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness”
5. “Born to Beg”
7. “Empire Line”
8. “I’ll Still Destroy You”
9. “Guilty Party”
10. “Carin at the Liquor Store”
11. “Dark Side of the Gym”
12. “Sleep Well Beast”
The National Tour Dates
October 5 – Boston, MA @ Wang Theatre
October 6 – New York, NY @ Forest Hills Stadium
October 11 – Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Bowl
October 12 – San Diego, CA @ CalCoast Credit Union Open Air Theatre
October 14 – Berkeley, CA @ Greek Theatre
November 27 – Portland, OR @ Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
November 28 – Seattle, WA @ Paramount Theatre
November 29 – Seattle, WA @ Paramount Theatre
December 1 – Vancouver, British Columbia @ Queen Elizabeth Theatre
December 2 – Vancouver, British Columbia @ Queen Elizabeth Theatre
December 4 – Philadelphia, PA @ Verizon Hall
December 7 – Montréal, Québec @ Metropolis
December 8 – Montréal, Québec @ Metropolis
December 9 – Toronto, Ontario @ Sony Centre
December 10 – Hamilton, Ontario @ Hamilton Place Theatre
December 12 – Chicago, IL @ Civic Opera House
December 13 – Chicago, IL @ Civic Opera House