I Am Easy To Find
Two minutes and 10 seconds into “Not In Kansas,” the National disappear.
It’s a key track on their new album, I Am Easy To Find, and you could imagine the ways a younger version of the band may have treated the arrangement; you could picture an successor to “England,” a song slowly ratcheting up tension for the sort of big cathartic conclusion this group’s become known for.
This isn’t what happens with “Not In Kansas,” and it proves a striking moment. The music, Matt Berninger — they all fade away, replaced by a chorus of female vocalists, Gail Ann Dorsey, Lisa Hannigan, and Kate Stables. They are singing an interpolation of a ’90s song called “Noble Experiment” by Thinking Fellers Union Local 282. But it sounds like an actual hymn. Across its sprawling hour-plus runtime, I Am Easy To Find is full of these tiny surprises.