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The National Finish 5th Album

Remind us never to go around to the National’s house for the holidays. The Brooklyn, N.Y., indie heroes are currently putting the finishing touches to the follow-up to their critically-acclaimed 2007 effort ‘Boxer’ and all is not harmonious in the studio as they hash out the final details of mix and arrangement selection. “A week after the record’s done, we [will] all laugh about the mean and horrible things we’ve said to each other,” frontman Matt Berninger has told Pitchfork. “It’s like a family at Christmas: Sometimes you say the worst things possible to each other, but you know you’ll come back next Christmas.”

Still, at least the bandmates have experience at this kind of intra-group squabbling in the run-up to new album D-Day. Berninger said, “When we were making ‘Boxer,’ it got so tense between all of us that we worried whether we could even continue being friends and being a band toward the end. It was just so stressful on everybody. This time around, it’s still as tense, but we’re not worried. We realize that this is just what happens to us when we’re near the end of making a record.”

The singer has also revealed that the National’s as-yet-untitled fifth set will see a return to the band’s bombastic roots following their relatively restrained fourth effort, and that the disc will feature a reprise of Sufjan Stevens’ guest singer slot on ‘Boxer’, albeit this time in the form of “some weird little backing vocal melodies — no words.”

The National will hit the road in late April for a brief North American and European in support of the new collection, which is due to hit stores in May.