The National were once Alt-country!
Currently listening to The National’s self titled debut, I was first surprised to read critical reception noting that they have alt-country influences in their songs. Then I got to track 6 “Pay for Me”, and lo and behold, country guitars rear their head. With the Americana resurgence in the past couple years, I can imagine how popular The National would be if they debuted today. Luckily they’ve moved past their country influences to darker stuff. I’m enjoying the songs that are not country-tinged off the first album. I can only handle so much twang, but its presence is few and far between. There’s genuine musical variety that arises from this amalgam of influences that keeps things interesting on his album. I suspect this is a trait later discarded as The National hones in their own sound on later albums.
But seriously, country guitars slid around and twang occasionally on this album. *Shudder* I never thought they had it in them.