Matt Berninger (the National) and Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes, Desaparecidos) are two of rock’s heaviest-hitting lyricists. Turns out, they’re also huge fans of each other’s songs.
The guys recently sat down to discuss all things songwriting (lyrics, finding melody, influences, “dick references,” embarrassment and so much more) for the Talkhouse Music Podcast. They break down songs from across their catalogues, such as the National’s “All the Wine,” “Fake Empire” and “Lemonworld,” and Conor’s “Lua,” “You Are Your Mother’s Child” and “Artifact #1.” They also discuss their favorite songwriters, giving a lot of love to Leonard Cohen.
This conversation between Matt Berninger and Conor Oberst provides an insight into the art of songwriting and music. I have long been told to listen to Oberst, but never found an entry point. I feel after understanding a bit more of the context to the music that I should return again for another listen.
In 2017, the National revisited their 2007 classic Boxer at a show in Brussels, and the set has been packaged for a Record Store Day release. You had to be there…
I must admit that I came to The National on the hype of High Violet. As with going back to The Bends after discovering Radiohead (other than Creep – which does not seem like the same band), it is interesting listening to this live recording of Boxer and reading the Pitchfork review of the album. I think that it would be different listening if I had seen them live, but in lieu of this, it is an enjoyable listen.