Guilty Party

Album: Sleep Well Beast (2017)


  • Singer and lyricist Matt Berninger's words for Sleep Well Beast revolve around the fears and struggles within relationships. They are as much about his bond with bandmate Aaron Dessner as with his wife, Carin Besser. Berninger explained to Q magazine:

    "Guilty Party started being about what happens when a long relationship falls apart. I've been in a relationship with Aaron longer than Carin. They're both a part of every single song. Our relationships are this fabric, and the threads of them are not isolated, they're not singular, they're not disconnected."
  • Carin Besser is a former fiction editor for The New Yorker and has often contributed to The National's songwriting. She co-wrote this song with her husband:

    "It was a way for us to tiptoe into dark territory without actually having to talk about those things," Berninger explained to The Guardian. "Most of the songs are about things I’m afraid of or things I really want to hold on to. A lot of it is about inhabiting alternate realities and digging into it. It’s confessional but it’s not autobiographical, if that makes sense. It’s emotionally confessional, but the details aren’t always specific to my stuff. Some of it is just made up."


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Let Me Be Your Teddy Bear: Teddy Bears and Teddy Boys in Songs

Let Me Be Your Teddy Bear: Teddy Bears and Teddy Boys in SongsSong Writing

Elvis, Little Richard and Cheryl Cole have all sung about Teddy Bears, but there is also a terrifying Teddy song from 1932 and a touching trucker Teddy tune from 1976.

70s Music Quiz 1

70s Music Quiz 1Music Quiz

The '70s gave us Muppets, disco and Van Halen, all which show up in this groovy quiz.

00s Music Quiz 1

00s Music Quiz 1Music Quiz

Do you know the girl singer on Eminem's "Stan"? If so, this quiz is for you.

Tanita Tikaram

Tanita TikaramSongwriter Interviews

When she released her first album in 1988, Tanita became a UK singing sensation at age 19. She talks about her darkly sensual voice and quirky songwriting style.

Brandi Carlile

Brandi CarlileSongwriter Interviews

As a 5-year-old, Brandi was writing lyrics to instrumental versions lullabies. She still puts her heart into her songs, including the one Elton John sings on.

Timothy B. Schmit

Timothy B. SchmitSongwriter Interviews

The longtime Eagle talks about soaring back to his solo career, and what he learned about songwriting in the group.