The National premiere five new songs with stirring short film 'I Am Easy To Find'

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'I Am Easy To Find,' a short film directed Mike Mills and an album by The National out May 17. (4AD)

Upon the announcement of The National's I Am Easy to Find — due out this Friday on 4AD — the band promised a short film that would accompany the record, starring Alicia Vikander and directed by Mike Mills (who directed the 2010s movies Beginners and 20th Century Women and is not the Mike Mills from R.E.M.). The short film is here, accompanied by reworked versions of five new singles: "Quiet Light," "Rylan," "The Pull of You," "Oblivions" and the album's title track, in addition to the already-released "Light Years."

I Am Easy to Find carries some of the emotional resonance of a Richard Linklater film — think Boyhood or the Before trilogy — condensed into a tight 24 minutes. It finds Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina, The Danish Girl) in all the stages of a middle-class existence, from birth to death, and briefly delving into each stage — as if watching a supercut of home movies. Rather than pinpoint the emotional heft of a single big life event, I Am Easy to Find takes a sprawling glance at life's totality, each subtitled and carried by Vikander's expressions.

There's an emphasis on the cyclical nature of life: the temporality of close friendships (of which she has four), the turmoils of marriage ("Arguing … about the same things," the film warns), financial crises and the remembrance of the past.

The National are well-suited to soundtrack these weighty dramas in brief. Sometimes, it plays as mere background music and other times, it accentuates and amplifies Vikander's joys and woes. It's engrossing, lovely and at times droll, as a short film from the National should be.

This summer, The National will headline Rock The Garden in Minneapolis, which is co-presented by The Current and Walker Art Center, and happens Saturday, June 29.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit www.npr.org/.

External Links

The National - official site

Mike Mills, filmmaker - official site

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2 Photos

  • The National 2019 press photo
    The National - promo shoot for "I Am Easy To Find" Album, NYC, April 22, 2019. (Graham MacIndoe)
  • The National, 'I Am Easy To Find'
    The National, 'I Am Easy To Find,' releases May 17, 2019. (4AD)