The National have been sowing the seeds of anticipation for their seventh record Sleep Well Beast since its initial announcement in May, intriguing eager fans with a pair of excellent advance tracks in “The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness” and “Guilty Party.”
From the sounds of those songs, Sleep Well Beast figures to be a dynamic and unpredictable new direction for the band, featuring everything from Radiohead-esque techno-mystique to actual, honest-to-God guitar solos. That said, the record’s third single, released today, doesn’t find the band reinventing the wheel, exactly, though it still shares the promise of its predecessors.
“Carin at the Liquor Store” is far closer to the kind of gorgeous slow burn that The National are best known for, built around a somber, yet soulful piano line. The song marches on for nearly four heartfelt minutes, with only an effects-heavy, atmospheric guitar solo—Told you!—breaking up the inevitability of Matt Berninger’s “foregone conclusion.”
Sleep Well Beast
is due out on Sept. 8 via 4AD. Find out more about the much-anticipated album here, watch the “Carin at the Liquor Store” video, directed by Casey Reas and filmed by La Blogothèque, below, and stream the track via your service of choice here.