It's been a while since we last heard from The National. At the time, they were working diligently on their new album, playing a few shows, and releasing a cover of Polaris' "Ashamed of the Story I Told" for the benefit album Ciao My Shining Star. Later, various band members popped up in a couple of "the" projects - The Long Count, The Conformist. But on the whole, pretty quiet.
Then we saw this little anthem:
The Google ad, titled "Out of Office," features "Apartment Story" from the band's most recent album, 2007's Boxer. So far, the spot sports a respectable 4 1/2 star rating on YouTube!, though one dude named "Syntox" got rather catty ("The National? I liked them better when they were called NEW ORDER"). Oh, well, can't win them all. As for how the band gets such a high-profile gig, singer Matt Berninger had this to say (via Stereogum):
I don't remember the specific connection but somebody high up there is a fan. I think Sergey Brin. They showed us a rough idea a few months ago. It was as much a commercial for us as for Google so we were happy to help. Originally the ad ended with a YouTube! clip of me climbing into the seats screaming in people's faces, but Google got cold feet about encouraging illegal filming of concerts. I think they are web only but I'm not sure. I wonder if we're censored in China?
In other news, the band is mixing their latest album with Peter Katis, who co-produced, recorded, and mixed Boxer. So, you know, keep your eyes peeled for more information in the upcoming months.
In addition to the new record, the band has given their website a face-lift. American Mary still has the random photographs, but it's also got a lot of new bells and whistles. Hope you enjoy it.