all 13 comments

[–]tropicmorningin a lemonworld 33 points34 points  (1 child)

I love how “textured” their music is. Bryce’s orchestrations add more layers to so many of their songs. A lot of the songs make me feel like I’m listening for something new even if I’ve heard it 50+ times already

[–]OnceInABlueMoon 9 points10 points  (0 children)

I was going to say texture too. The Dessner's create this landscape of texture that I find really hard to describe.

[–]smeelsLikeFurtsDon't let show any emotion 🌊 16 points17 points  (0 children)

The horns. Bryan is awesome too!

[–]Nysdsqpa321 15 points16 points  (0 children)

Matt’s voice for me.

[–]rubydaacherryi used to fall asleep to you talking to me 11 points12 points  (0 children)

the melancholy

[–]Margrave75 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Toss up between Matt's voice and Bryan's drumming for me.

[–]C-Rogue 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I've honestly always thought it was the song structure? & feel like I never see anyone talk about it, which seems odd. But think about songs like, just off the top of my head, Sea of Love, Terrible Love, I Need my Girl, Humiliation, Karen—it's like they're made up of multiple alternating or successive choruses. Most songs do a verse chorus structure with a bridge. But The National do SO MANY of their songs with just a few repeated mantric type stanzas that either go back & forth OR, not infrequently, just get abandoned part way through a song & replaced with a new chorus. They almost hardly ever seem to even have a proper verse. They'll often toss in a bridge but when the difference between verse & chorus collapses into everything being functionally a refrain it's hard to think of it in verse-chorus-bridge terms anymore.

You can find it on just about every album & it seems sometimes like it's most of their songs, with traditional verse chorus structure being the exception rather than the rule. It's truly one of my favorite aspects & I really think that's the most distinctive thing about them.

[–]parmesantheman 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Their guitar sound is very distinctive too

[–]jrobski96 -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

I find their lead guitar lacking. I wish he would just tear into some of those solos but it’s usually meh.

[–]TheStigsScouseCousinIn a Los Angeles cathedral 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Just listen to England, and you'll get it. It's THE quintessential The National song (in my kind at least).

Especially with those horns.

Every time I listen to it it's like I'm hearing it for the first time.

[–]brainy89I missed you for 29 years 4 points5 points  (0 children)

The guitar noodling (Rylan, Eucalyptus, Gospel, etc.)

[–]SugarMouseOnReddit 2 points3 points  (0 children)

The National sound really is all 5 members. The Aaron song structures and piano. The Bryce guitars and orchestration. The Matt lyrics and melodies. The Scott thumbing bass. The Bryan powerful percussion.

[–]fridaysrubyCan I ask you about today? 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Matt’s voice, drums, guitar and horns…in no particular order.