The National have released a new single from their forthcoming album I Am Easy to Find, titled “Hairpin Turns.” The single comes with a video directed by Academy Award nominee Mike Mills, whose past work includes the films 20th Century Women and Beginners.
“Hairpin Turns” is a lush, piano-driven ballad that features guest vocals from Gail Ann Dorsey and Lisa Hannigan. The video finds dancer and choreographer Sharon Eyal moving serenely around a blank white room while the band members and singers perform around her.
“The video is a very simple portrait of the band (and the friends who helped make the song) and the song itself: You see all the instruments that make up the song in isolation, even hear them recorded live on set over the album version, kind of like showing you the tracks that make up the song,” Mills says of the video.
In addition to his work on the “Hairpin Turns” video, Mills also directed a 24-minute short film to accompany the album that’s also titled I Am Easy to Find. The film stars Academy Award winner Alicia Vikander and was conceived not just as a companion piece to the album, but as a standalone work as well. Mills describes the two projects as “playfully hostile siblings that love to steal from each other.”
The National have also announced a series of screening and listening events to celebrate the release of I Am Easy to Find. The events will take place during the week of May 6 in several cities around the world, including Los Angeles, Brooklyn, Chicago, London, Liverpool, Glasgow, Leeds, Tokyo, Sydney, Melbourne, Madrid, Barcelona, Oslo, Copenhagen, Milan and Mexico City.
Paste contributor Steven Edelstone attended a similar event of the band’s in late April, writing of their “A Special Evening with The National” show, “Somehow more elegant and tear-jerking than ever before, Matt Berninger & co. wowed New York, showing why I Am Easy to Find could be their best release yet.”
Both the album and short film versions of I Am Easy to Find arrive on May 17 through 4AD. The National have already shared the singles “Light Years” and “You Had Your Soul With You” from the new record. Their last full-length effort was 2017’s Sleep Well Beast, which won Best Alternative Music Album at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards.
Watch the video for “Hairpin Turns” below, and check out The National’s 2007 Daytrotter session further down. You’ll find details of the band’s listening events and tour dates on their website, americanmary.com.