Deirdre O'Callaghan The National have released the first single off their…
- Posted on Feb 5th 2012 10:00AM by Kenneth Partridge
C Brandon, Redferns
Or so they did on the first song, the decidedly un-Lana-like 'Holocene.' Over muted brass, fingerpicked guitar and a barely-there rhythm, Vernon sang with the gentle beauty of a sleepy librarian. The band was tight and poised, and the only guy showing much in the way of excitement was the headband-rocking percussionist, who shook his shaker for all it was worth.
'Beth/Rest,' the second tune, was a little less log-cabin confessional, a bit more '80s Steve Winwood. Bon Iver's self-titled sophomore effort is notable for its soft-rock textures, and the song's sighing sax brought back memories of Bruce Hornsby, Phil Collins and other titans of your mom's tape collection. Vernon's light-favorite revivalism doesn't exactly smack of marketing gimmick, but the sound is more polished and affected -- and more likely to make folks suspicious -- than the earthier opening tune.
If Bon Iver struck some as a return to what's "real," the cast of 'SNL' -- Kristen Wiig in particular -- has sympathy for the much-dissed Del Rey. Impersonating the singer during a 'Weekend Update' sketch, Wiig lightly skewered the 'Video Games' chanteuse but offered a much more biting criticism of those who have instigated the mighty Internet backlash.
"No serious musician would ever change their name, except maybe for Sting, Cher, Elton John, Lady Gaga, Jay-Z, everyone else in hip-hop, and of course, Bob Dylan," Wiig said, referencing the hubbub over Del Rey's past life as aspiring popster Lizzy Grant.
Mocking 'SNL' for its less-than-stellar record of picking new talent, Wiig's Del Rey then offered a backhanded apology for her dud of a performance.
"The music stage on 'Saturday Night Live' is hallowed ground, and I failed to reach the high bar set by past guests like Bubba Sparxxx, the Baha Men, and Shaggy," she said.
Watch Bon Iver Perform 'Beth/Rest' on 'SNL'