If the National were subtle on Alligator, then they’re downright elusive on their latest LP, Boxer. Everything is understated, left to grow on you through repeated listens. It’s a good dozen or so listens before you start to appreciate the album for what it is. I imagine that choosing a single for Boxer was a nightmare; singles are meant to be immediately catchy, something you like the minute you hear it, but Boxer is full of slow growers. So, they chose the darkest, most aggressive track on the album, ‘Mistaken For Strangers’. ‘Strangers’ is the closest Boxer comes to a rock-out like ‘Lit Up’, with it’s tight, quick instrumentation and mournful lyrics. Its video mirrors its claustrophobic nature perfectly, shooting the band from too-close angles in close quarters. Boxer will be released tomorrow (5/22) via Beggars Banquet.
The National – Mistaken For Strangers.mp3