The National are a band of New Yorkers transplanted from Cincinnati, Ohio. Despite growing up within driving distance of each other, they did not begin playing together until after relocating to the Big Apple in the late 90s. Their critically acclaimed second album, Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers, earned them a reputation for deeply confessional lyrics and complex, meaningful song structure, while 2005’s Alligator displayed their music’s ability to unveil new layers with each successive listen. The band finds ways to combine the expressive depth of composed music with the urgency of pop – creating a sound built with guitar, bass, piano and drums, and festooned with brass, woodwinds, backing vocals, strings and organs. Their May 22 release, Boxer, further develops The National’s compelling sound.
“The National's Boxer is an even better album than their critically acclaimed 2005 release, Alligator,” said Bruce Warren, assistant general manager of programming for WXPN. “They're an engaging, literate rock band fronted by Matt Berninger, whose robust baritone will bring to mind Leonard Cohen and Scott Walker.”
Says WXPN music director Dan Reed, “The band brings together intimate ballads and epic, dramatic rock songs on one of the year's best releases. Words like ambitious and cinematic are often used to describe a band's sound; The National more than deliver on the promise of this.”
For more on the XPN Artists To Watch series and this month’s featured artist, visit Artist To Watch.
The XPN Artists To Watch series reflects WXPN’s commitment to nurturing fresh, new talent and exposing listeners to the best new music. Each month, the XPN Artists To Watch series spotlights a different up-and-coming performer who has produced an album or body of work that demonstrates outstanding vision, creativity and songwriting ability. Month-long on-air promotion is combined with online features to help audiences discover each artist.
WXPN 88.5 FM, the nationally recognized leader in Triple A radio and the premier guide for discovering new and significant artists in rock, blues, roots, and folk, is the non-commercial, member-supported radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. WXPN produces World Cafe®, public radio’s most popular program of popular music hosted by David Dye and syndicated by National Public Radio, and the Peabody Award winning Kids Corner hosted by Kathy O’Connell. WXPN also produces Y-Rock On XPN, an online alternative rock music stream. WXPN serves the greater Philadelphia area at 88.5 FM, the Lehigh Valley at 104.9, Worton/Baltimore at 90.5 FM, Harrisburg at 88.1 FM, and the world via online streaming at www.xpn.org.