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Hear the National’s Gently Pulsing ‘Don’t Swallow the Cap’

The National, 'Trouble Will Find Me,' cover art

The National continue to combine their familiar seriousness of purpose with a welcome wryness. The Brooklyn band’s drummer, Bryan Devendorf, had said precisely that quality would be there on Trouble Will Find Me, out May 21 via 4AD, and sure enough it glinted through on first studio track “Demons.” The latest Trouble cut to surface, “Don’t Swallow the Cap,” again mixes a dour backdrop — downcast keys, fluttering strings, krautrock pulse — with grimly intoned lyrics that are more fun than you might expect: “There’s a time to think about what I wanna say to the girls at the door / I need somewhere to be when I can’t get around the river in front of me,” Matthew Berninger deadpans, in what sure sounds like a description of a rock singer trying to elude overly adoring fans. The track also features female backing vocals — Devendorf also said Sharon Van Etten, St. Vincent’s Annie Clark, and Dark Dark Dark singer Nona Marie Invie would contribute to the album. A rep for the National didn’t immediately reply to an e-mail asking who’s singing on this particular track. Have a listen below.