May 22, 2018 / 1:52 AM

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The National On Winning A Grammy: ‘It’s Not Something We Ever Thought We Would Get’



After losing out just a few years ago in the same category to Vampire Weekend, The National finally took home the Best Alternative Music Album Grammy Award on Sunday.

The band won for its 2017 record Sleep Well Beast, which was also up for Best Recording Package on the night. That gong was awarded, in a tie, to both Father John Misty's Pure Comedy (Deluxe Edition) and El Orisha De La Rosa by Claudio Roncoli & Cactus Taller.

Sleep Well Beast contains the hit single "The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness," which was The National's first ever track to hit #1 on a Billboard chart. The band lost to Vampire Weekend's acclaimed third LP Vampires In The City back in 2013, so this is surely a massive boost.

"We are honored and grateful to be recognized by the Recording Academy... This award is for our whole family and everyone who has helped us and listened along the way. We could never have accomplished what we have just the five of us," said guitarist and producer Aaron Dessner.

"We also want to recognize all the incredible music that was not nominated and awarded this year, and every year. The National lived in the shadows for many years, outside the spotlight of commercial success and accolades. There is so much vital and important art and music being made in every corner, whether it's put up on a pedestal at year end or not. Thank you."

The band's massive seventh album beat big-named artists like Arcade Fire, Gorillaz, and LCD Soundsystem to take home Best Alternative at the 2018 Grammys. Dessner, who also built the New York studio where the album was recorded, revealed that he was showering when he heard the good news.

"It's not something we ever thought we would get, or set out to get, really," Dessner admitted.

The National was formed in Ohio in 1999 but only came to prominence in 2005 with its first album on a major label. Alligator was released to wide critical acclaim and put the group on the map alongside contemporaries including Arcade Fire.

The two album releases Boxer and High Violet further solidified its position as one of the biggest indie bands in the world. Legendary music publication NME even included a whopping four of The National's records on their 2013 list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

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