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The National Debut New Song 'Roman Candle' at Cooperative Education Benefit Concert

by William Hoffman   Oct 18, 2015 14:00 PM EDT

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In an interview with NME back in August, The National frontman Matt Berninger said the band is well on its way to releasing its seventh album. Fans got the first taste of the new material from a performance this weekend where the group debuted its new song, "Roman Candle."

The track was premiered at a benefit show Friday Oct. 16, at which the band played two shows for Cooperative Education, an organization dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty in Guatemala through education, at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. Berninger's cousins, Joe and Jeff Berninger, founded Cooperative Education according to Pitchfork.

Berninger is a busy man of late with his other band, EL VY, coming out with a debut album titled Return To The Moon later this month. EL VY is his side project working with composer and Menomena frontman Brent Knopf.

But, that hasn't stopped The National from busting out 30 sketches for songs in New York earlier this year and continuing that work at a retreat in Los Angeles. "Roman Candle" is the first song we've heard from the upcoming album.

Before launching into the new tune, Berninger joked that he was going to be the one to mess up the song, but they were able to make it through. The tune is a slow, smoldering, introspective piece that seems to talk about Berninger's insecurities and his worries about not wanting to fail.

"I'm always thinking about useless things/ I better walk it back, walk it back," he sings on the tune. "Don't wanna f--k up the place."

Watch the band perform the new tune below via Stereogum and take a look at the full setlist.


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