The National

The National

Graham MacIndoe/Courtesy of the artist

Welcome to the Monday Mix, where each week we highlight three songs debuting on the opbmusic broadcast.

Vampire Weekend - “Sunflower (feat. Steve Lacy)”

At long last, the wait is over for Vampire Weekend’s fourth studio album. With six years in between releases, fans can rejoice in the knowledge that “Father of the Bride” will be a double-album, with monthly doses of singles building up to its release on May 3. “Sunflower” is the latest of these singles to arrive. Featuring guitar work and vocals from Steve Lacy (The Internet), the song is a joyous celebration, playful in structure and deceptively simple. With an upbeat tempo to start, the guitar and bass lay the groundwork for an infectious scat-like chorus that’s sure to make you chuckle. Along their tour route this summer, Vampire Weekend will grace the grasses of McMenamins Edgefield in Troutdale, Oregon, Sept. 28.

Kevin Morby - “No Halo” 

“No Halo” is the first single to be released from Kevin Morby’s new album, “Oh My God,” due out April 26. The song begins with a combination of downward progressing keys and clapping percussion which flows into a pre-chorus with Morby counting aloud. Admittedly, it’s a bit odd at first, but the song becomes remarkably catchy on repeat listens. Flourishes of flute and saxophone share the spotlight with slinky choruses as the concise track wraps up in just three minutes, one of the shortest, yet sweetest, compositions from Morby to date. Kevin Morby is stopping by Portland’s Crystal Ballroom on May 13.

The National - “You Had Your Soul With You” 

In the 12 years since The National’s breakthrough release, “Boxer,” we’ve seen many iterations of the group, most recently the morbidly-beautiful “Sleep Well Beast” in 2017. And while that record was undoubtedly one of their best, “You Had Your Soul With You” is a welcome departure from the darker side of the band. Whereas many National songs have a tendency towards a slow build, this song has an instant grab-and-go feeling and is immediately bright and energizing. But it also features the band’s signature powerful guitar and drum work, a wilful reliance on the Dessner twins’ capable multi-instrumentalist hands. The track especially soars on the wings of cameo vocals by Gail Ann Dorsey, a solo artist and session musician who’s worked with many greats from David Bowie to Tears For Fears. The National’s new album, “I Am Easy To Find,” is out on May 17 and is accompanied by a short film of the same name.