Out this Friday, The National’s new album, I Am Easy To Find, is not your normal kind of record.
The album is in fact a byproduct of a short film with the same name, written and directed by Mike Mills (20th Century Woman, Beginners), who scored the film with stems of unfinished songs given to him by the band.
Seeing the movie inspired the band to then finish those songs, and write new ones, which Mills then helped them produce into an album. Confused yet?
It’s important to note that the album isn’t a direct soundtrack to the film, and the songs in the film aren’t necessarily arranged the way they sound on the album. As Matt Berninger put it at a recent screening event in Los Angeles, the film and album are two swords cast from the same metal.
Without any backstory, the film is a gorgeous, poetic work about the life of one woman, featuring a moving performance by actress Alicia Vikander.
While we wait for the album to drop, you can watch the full 26-minute film below. Make sure to full-screen it and have a box of Kleenex handy.
If you want to learn more about the film, you can also watch two bonus versions featuring commentary from Mike Mills and Matt Berninger and Carin Besser.
Ryan is a writer, editor and vinyl collector currently based in Los Angeles. He started Mini Music Critic in 2017.