Last year’s High Violet elevated The National to indie’s top table, to dine with the Radioheads and the Wilcos of the world and to enjoy the slight air of invincibility that comes with it. ‘I Need My Girl’ is one of the first new songs to emerge since the release of that album, having been performed on a radio show in the ‘States, but it’s nothing to get that excited about.
The track starts off quiet, with a gently plucked acoustic guitar and a brushed drum beat that you’d think would set up a trademark The National build-up, but it never comes. Instead the track is handled with so much subtlety that it’s hard to notice anything happens for the four minutes at all, with little guitar flourishes being the only real addition as the song progresses. There’s nothing particularly wrong with the song, but you’d hope that by the time the band comes to record a new album they’ve got something a little more heavyweight than this.