The National ‎– Sleep Well Beast - 2017 Indie Rock Ltd Ed Blue Vinyl 2LP

In stock

The National ‎– Sleep Well Beast

4AD ‎– 4AD0020LPE
2 × Vinyl, LP, Album, Limited Edition, Blue Translucent
UK & Europe
08 Sep 2017
Indie Rock


A1 Nobody Else Will Be There
A2 Day I Die
A3 Walk It Back


B1 The System Only Dreams In Total Darkness
B2 Born To Beg
B3 Turtleneck


C1 Empire Line
C2 I'll Still Destroy You
C3 Guilty Party


D1 Carin at the Liquor Store
D2 Dark Side of the Gym
D3 Sleep Well Beast
Orchestrated By [Additional Orchestration] – Maaike van der Linde



Companies, etc.

Phonographic Copyright (p) – 4AD
Copyright (c) – 4AD
Licensed From – The National
Produced At – Long Pond
Published By – BMG Rights Management (US) LLC
Published By – Music Of Virtual
Published By – Touch Tones Music Ltd.
Recorded At – Long Pond
Recorded At – Studio Saint Germain
Recorded At – Illegoland
Recorded At – Future-Past Studios
Recorded At – Funkhaus-Studio
Recorded At – Michelberger Hotel, Berlin
Mixed At – Long Pond
Mastered At – Sterling Sound
Designed At – Pentagram (3)
Pressed By – Optimal Media GmbH – BH80800


Arranged By, Performer – The National
Band [The National] – Aaron Dessner, Bryan Devendorf, Bryce Dessner, Matt Berninger, Scott Devendorf
Bass Flute, Flute – Maaike van der Linde
Co-producer – Matt Berninger (tracks: B1, B3, C9)
Design – Andrea Trabucco-Campos, Elyanna Blaser-Gould, Luke Hayman
Drum Programming – Aaron Dessner, Bryan Devendorf, Bryce Dessner, James McAlister
Drums, Percussion – Eric Cha-Beach*, Jason Treuting
Effects [Drum Processing] – David Chalmin
Electronic Drums [Electronic Percussion] – Alexander Ridha
Ensemble [Paris Orchestral, Sessions Ensemble], Bass – Grégoire Dubruel, Thomas Garoche
Ensemble [Paris Orchestral, Sessions Ensemble], Bassoon – Louise Lapierre (2)
Ensemble [Paris Orchestral, Sessions Ensemble], Cello – Barbara Le Liepvre, Ella Jarrige, Juliette Salmona
Ensemble [Paris Orchestral, Sessions Ensemble], Clarinet – Renaud Guy-Rousseau
Ensemble [Paris Orchestral, Sessions Ensemble], Flute – Emma Landarrabilco
Ensemble [Paris Orchestral, Sessions Ensemble], Horn – Cédric Bonnet
Ensemble [Paris Orchestral, Sessions Ensemble], Oboe – Bastien Nouri
Ensemble [Paris Orchestral, Sessions Ensemble], Viola – Benachir Boukhatem, Marine Gandon,Sarah Chenaf
Ensemble [Paris Orchestral, Sessions Ensemble], Violin – Ariadna Teyssier, Charlotte Juillard,Domitille Gilon, Emilie Duch-Sauzeau, Leslie Boulin Raulet*, Marc Desjardins (3), Matthias Piccin,Nikolai Spassov, Pauline Hauswirth
Guitar – Josh Kaufman
Horn – Romain Bly
Keyboards – Thomas Bartlett
Keyboards, Electronic Drums [Electronic Percussion] – Erwan Castex
Keyboards, Technician [Audio Processing] – Andi Toma, Jan St. Werner
Legal – Gillian Bar
Legal [For] – Carroll, Guido & Groffman*
Lyrics By, Written-By [Melodies By] – Carin Besser, Matt Berninger
Management – Alison D'Arrigo, Brandon Reid, Grant Manship, Julia Willinger, Shaun Gibson, Wayne Petti (3)
Management [For] – Straight & Narrow Artist Management
Mastered By – Greg Calbi
Mastered By [Vinyl] – RKS*
Mastered By [With] – Steve Fallone
Mixed By – Peter Katis
Mixed By [Additional Mixing] – Jonathan Low
Music By – Aaron Dessner (tracks: A1, A3 to D3), Bryce Dessner (tracks: A1, A3 to D3), The National(tracks: A2)
Musician [Touring Musicians] – Benjamin Lanz*, Kyle Resnick
Orchestrated By, Co-producer – Bryce Dessner
Organ – Nick Lloyd
Organ [Vox Continental Organ] – Walter Martin
Other [Long Pond Studio Designed By] – Erlend Neumann
Photography By [Album Photography By] – Graham MacIndoe
Piano – Katia Labeque*
Producer – Aaron Dessner
Producer [Additional Production] – Peter Katis (tracks: B1, B3)
Recorded By – Jonathan Low
Recorded By [Additional Recording] – Aaron Dessner, Andi Toma, Jan St. Werner
Recorded By [Los Angeles Vocal Sessions Recorded By] – Sean O'Brien (7)
Recorded By [Paris Orchestral Sessions Recorded By] – David Chalmin
Synth, Vocals – Justin Vernon
Technician [Audio Processing] – Ryan Olson
Trombone, Synth – Benjamin Lanz*
Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Vocals – Kyle Resnick
Vocals – Arone Dyer, Lisa Hannigan


Limited indie exclusive 2xLP (TRANSLUCENT blue vinyl) release. Pressed on 2x12" standard weight translucent blue vinyl. Gatefold sleeve. Includes a 24" x 24" folded poster and 2 inner sleeves. Includes code for digital download.

Barcode sticker: 4AD0020LPE MADE IN EU

℗ & © 2017 4AD

Produced [...] at Long Pond, Hudson Valley, NY.

"Walk It Back" includes an excerpt from the article entitled "Faith, Certainty and the Presidency of George W. Bush" by Ron Suskind, first published in the New York Times Magazine.

All rights administered by BMG Rights Management (US) LLC (except for Ron Suskind, published by Music of Virtual (BMI) administered outside North America by Touch Tones Music Ltd.).

Recorded [...] at Long Pond. Paris orchestral sessions recorded [...] at Studio Saint Germain. Los Angeles vocal sessions recorded [...] at Illegoland. Additional sessions recorded at Future Past, Hudson, NY, Funkhaus, Berlin, and Michelberger Hotel, Berlin.

Mastered [...] at Sterling Sound, New York, NY.



( pItchfork) "The first single “The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness” was a bit of a shot across the bow. The song introduces itself with a series of stray-hair noises—a steely guitar line, a frosty choir of “oohing” voices, a boxy drum loop, and an imperious grand piano airlifted from U2’s “New Year’s Day.” It forms an intriguing mist, but as you squint into it, familiar shapes emerge: The major-key chorus arrives with the same effortlessness as all their best songs, with that glinting phalanx of horns pushing it quietly forward. These are National Songs, made with the sounds and feelings that should be poured into the making of a National album. Some of the eccentricities and raw touches left at the edges feel like wind resistance tacked onto a beveled-smooth vehicle after the fact.

The same trick happens at the beginning of “I’ll Still Destroy You”: With a fluttering piece of drum programming and some mallet percussion, we are given a convincing twenty-second impression of a Björk song, circa Homogenic maybe. Then the swaying chords, the murmuring piano, and Berninger’s rumbling voice enters, dispelling the illusion and planting us back in the dimly lit auditorium on the cover of Boxer. The song kicks up again on its way out, with a wild, chaotic build that careens directly into “Guilty Party.” These controlled breakouts, bookending the otherwise-dependable pleasures of their music, provide a neat analog for the bits of craven irresponsibility and abandon you cling to in the margins of an otherwise stable existence—the occasional 2am-Tuesday, the weekend away from the kids. This has always been, and remains, Berninger’s character: “Let’s just get high enough to see our problems,” he pleads on “Day I Die.”

The wildest he allows himself to be, and maybe the wildest the band’s ever sounded, is “Turtleneck,” a mid-album cut that veers startlingly close to “National rave-up.” Berninger pitches his vocals at a ragged shout. It’s a political rocker, sardonic and full of withering asides like, “Light the water, check for lead.” “The poor, they leave their cell phones in the bathrooms of the rich,” he mutters, a lyric he’s explained refers to Trump venting typo-ridden tweets to the nation from his toilet-bowl throne. The song melts open into a pair of squealing, squiggled guitar solos that wouldn’t feel out of place on a latter-day Pearl Jam album, and Berninger moves in fitful circles around the kind of earnest activism that Vedder has practiced for years.

Like Vedder, or James Murphy, or really any rock singer wringing drama from their own limitations, Berninger remains the marquee character in the National’s music. He’s the guy the spotlight follows, and the band—as limber and powerful as the Dessner and Devendorf brothers are—serve mostly just to set the scene for Berninger to mutter intelligent, self-deprecating things into strange and counterintuitive rhythmic pockets of the songs. He wrote a lot of these lyrics alongside his wife Carin Besser and possesses an unerring ability to zero in on the bits of conversation that signify a lifelong coupledom: “I only take up a little of the collapsing space/I better cut this off, don’t want to fuck it up,” he repeats to himself on “Walk It Back,” a pitch-perfect evocation of trying to talk yourself out of having the same fight with the same person again, likely with the same results. “You keep saying so many things that I wish you won’t,” from “Empire Line,” is a sort of “I-don’t-want the-kids-to-hear-us” version of “shut up, goddamnit,” the version you offer when years of mutual respect have supplied the brakes to your worst impulses.

But perhaps the most resonant lyrics here speak to the band’s persistence and the durability of any long-term union. “Nothing I do/Makes me feel different,” he confesses on “I’ll Still Destroy You.” “Forget it/Nothing I change changes anything,” he offers on “Walk It Back.” Like R.E.M., whose ongoing existence became its own kind of raison d’être as they aged, the National offer testimony to something we don’t often celebrate: Enduring is a superpower of its own. The fact that no one can talk about the National without invoking their dependability might feel a bit unfair to them, or at least a bit tired. And yet, there’s a reason it remains such a dominating lens through which to examine them. Consistency is not boring. Consistency is a miracle, a small act of defiance against entropy. Berninger has compared the band to a marriage, as all band members do, but their music feels particularly devoted to the quotidian nature of lifelong unions, the way that your success is measured in time, how each year together turns your commitment into its own kind of monument. There’s a reason anniversary cards say things like “All these years later, I still love you.” It’s because the miracle isn’t in the “love,” it’s in the “still.”

More Information
Condition New
Format 2LP
Label 4AD
Color Blue