The National Curating Grateful Dead Covers Album

photo by Jeremy Farmer

The National are no strangers to compilation albums — members Bryce and Aaron Dessner curated 2009’s Dark Was The Night, a benefit record for AIDS charity Red Hot that featured contributions from indie all-stars all over the map, including David Byrne, Arcade Fire, Spoon, Yo La Tengo, Andrew Bird, The New Pornographers, The Decemberists, Iron & Wine, Sufjan Stevens, Grizzly Bear, Bon Iver, and Yeasayer, to name a few. The critically acclaimed compilation was so successful that the band has decided to follow-up on that release with another, but this time, it’s going to be a collection of Grateful Dead cover songs, of all things.

The project is still in the developing stages, so listeners probably won’t see it for another year at least, but the band has already stated folk masterminds Fleet Foxes and Bon Iver are interested. But the band is also looking for unconventional new flavor. Bassist Scott Devendorf tells Spinner: “”It’s not going to be like jam bands cover the Dead. There are so many cover bands. I think half of the record will be reinterpreting it. We’re also trying to think of unusual [acts]. Crystal Castles would be awesome.” That would be interesting, to say the least.

Below, check out the National’s own contribution to Dark Was the Night, “So Far Around the Bend”:

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