The National’s Aaron Dessner Talks Taylor Swift’s New Album

Taylor Swift

The National’s Aaron Dessner talked with Pitchfork about working on Taylor Swift’s latest album:

So when [Taylor] reached out, I had this large folder of ideas that were pretty well on their way. She was very clear that she didn’t want me to edit any of my ideas; she wanted to hear everything that was interesting to me at this moment, including really odd, experimental noise. So I made a folder of stuff, including some pretty out-there sketches. A few hours later, she sent “cardigan,” fully written in a voice memo. That’s when I realized that this was unusual—just the focus and clarity of her ideas. It was pretty astonishing. Over the next couple months, this would just happen; all of a sudden, I’d get a voice memo. And then another. Eventually, it was so inspiring that I wrote more ideas that were specifically in response to what she was writing.

Review: The National – High Violet

The National - High Violet

When The National reemerged in 2010, they were primed to explode. It didn’t matter that they were coming up on their fifth album and had already passed the milestone that marked their first decade together as a band. They were, as people have often described their albums, a slow burn, or a grower, and by the time the new decade began, their fuse was ready to blow. 2007’s Boxer had changed the game for the Cincinnati fourpiece in more ways them one, turning them into prestige indie darlings, landing songs on the soundtracks of virtually every moody drama on television, and even earning them a small but memorable role in the campaign of a presidential hopeful named Barack Obama. By the time The National appeared on Jimmy Fallon in March of 2010 to officially kick off the rollout for High Violet, with a majestic performance of “Terrible Love,” it was clear they were ready to be rock stars.

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